President Obama has begun conversations with potential Supreme Court nominees, a senior administration official tells the AP, signaling an upswing in the president's consideration of an already coalescing list of candidates. This morning, he'll meet with Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, and the top members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss the pick, which is expected to come over the next few weeks.
Obama's discussions with the candidates haven't been formal interviews, the official emphasized, and he wouldn't say if they'd been in person or by phone. The president will name his pick by May 26, a senior official tells the Hill. That would be the one-year anniversary of the Sotomayor pick, but it's likely Obama will pick ahead of schedule. "We’ve got a little more of a running start to the process," he said.