WASHINGTON, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Ketanji Brown Jackson, a federal trial judge in Washington, is being considered to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, the National Law Journal reported on Friday, citing a lawyer who was contacted as part of the vetting process.
The unidentified lawyer was contacted this week and was asked about Jackson's tenure on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in the context of her being a potential nominee for the Supreme Court, the Journal said.
The lawyer described the conversation, which lasted less than 30 minutes, as a "preliminary inquiry," the Journal reported.
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Federal judge being considered for US Supreme Court nomination - Law Journal
Demonstrators carrying giant keep abortion legal buttons & ...protect Roe vs. Wade sign during huge pro-choice march. (Photo by Cynthia Johnson/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
1966: Since 1966 police have to advise a suspect that they have the right to remain silent and the right to counsel during interrogation. The so called 'Miranda Warning' after Ernesto Miranda who had a retrial because he was not so advised. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)
1963: Petitiion by Clarence Earl Gideon to the Chief Justice of the United States against a sentence imposed by a Florida court because he had not had legal representation. This resulted in the 5th Amendment whereby any individual accused of a crime is guaranteed 'due processes of law'. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)
African American students at a segregated school following the supreme court case Plessy vs Ferguson established Separate But Equal, 1896. (Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)
(Original Caption) This sketch shows White House Watergate Attorney James St. Claire arguing before the Supreme Court over whether President Nixon could assert executive privilege in withholding evidence demanded by Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworksi in the Watergate cover-up trial. The Justices are (L to R), Chief Justice Warren Burger; William Brennan; Byron White; Henry Blackmun; and at right is the chair normally occupied by William Rehnquist, who withdrew from this case.
Supporters of gay marriage wave the rainbow flag after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry at the Supreme Court in Washington June 26, 2015. The court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution's guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law mean that states cannot ban same-sex marriages. With the ruling, gay marriage will become legal in all 50 states. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
(Original Caption) Schenectady, New York: Despite a ruling from Education Commissioner Ewald B. Nyquist that prayer meetings in school are 'constitutionally impermissible,' several Mohonasen High School pupils continue to hold 10 minute prayer session at the school. The school board gave permission for the meetings even though the 1963 U.S. Supreme Court decision ruled out prayer in public schools. Comm. Nyquist's ruling upset the school board's permission for the meetings, but the students, who pointed out that Congress and the state legislature open with prayers, decided to keep up the practice.
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The White House did not respond immediately to a request for comment on the Journal story.
President Barack Obama is expected to announce a nominee in the next several weeks to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died on Feb. 13.
Scalia's death left the court with four liberals and four conservatives, and Republican leaders in the Senate have vowed to block anyone Obama nominates. The Senate must confirm the nominee.
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, a moderate Republican, took himself out of consideration for appointment to the Supreme Court this week after his name surfaced as a possible nominee.
If nominated and confirmed Jackson, 45, would be the first African-American woman on the Supreme Court.
She was confirmed to the federal district court in Washington in March 2013.
During her confirmation hearing, she received support from U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, who is related to her by marriage, the Journal reported. Jackson's husband, Patrick Jackson, is the twin brother of Ryan's brother-in-law William Jackson.
Jackson served as a federal public defender in Washington and then at a law firm. In 2010, she was appointed to the U.S. Sentencing Commission.