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Court nominees often named within days

By Robert Yoon, CNN
In 2009, President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor 25 days after a court vacancy was announced.
In 2009, President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor 25 days after a court vacancy was announced.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Nine of the past 14 court nominees were named within six days of a vacancy
  • George W. Bush took four days to nominate Samuel Alito after Harriet Miers withdrew
  • Ronald Reagan named his choice the day Warren Burger announced his retirement
  • Average time until Senate confirmation vote: 70 days, based on past 40 years
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(CNN) -- If history is any guide, the White House could announce its nominee to replace retiring U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens within days.

In fact, nine of the past 14 court nominees were named within six days of the position becoming available.

President Obama took 25 days to announce Sonia Sotomayor as his pick to replace Justice David Souter who retired in 2009.

Obama gets second chance to put stamp on court

In 2005, President George W. Bush named Samuel Alito four days after the withdrawal of Harriet Miers -- and 122 days after Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement.

The fastest announcement of a Supreme Court nominee in recent history was in 1986, when President Ronald Reagan named Justice William Rehnquist as his choice to replace Chief Justice Warren Burger the same day Burger announced his retirement.

President Bill Clinton took 87 days to announce his decision that Ruth Bader Ginsburg replace Byron White in 1993.

Following the nomination, the required confirmation vote by the Senate has taken an average of 70 days, among the 17 nominations that made it to a vote during the past 40 years.

Recently John Roberts was confirmed as Chief Justice only 24 days after being named as the nominee to replace Rehnquist, although Roberts had previously been nominated to replace Justice O'Connor.

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