As Appellate Strategist reported a week ago, when Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement, most Supreme Court observers believed that the "short list" contained three names: Solicitor General Elena Kagan, Judge Diane Wood and Judge Merrick Garland. But even as the White House is suggesting that a nominee will be named in early May, it appears that the "short list" is growing longer.

CNN reports that Judge Sidney Thomas of the Ninth Circuit is under consideration as a possible nominee.  Judge Thomas was in private practice in his native Montana before he was nominated to the Ninth Circuit by President Clinton. He has served on the Ninth Circuit since 1996.

According to ABC News, Leah Ward Sears, former Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court,  is on the President’s short list as well. Justice Sears was appointed to the Georgia Supreme Court in 1992, and was sworn in as Chief Justice in 2005.  She retired from the court in 2009, and is now in private practice.

The Boston Globe is reporting that Professor Martha Minow, the Dean of Harvard Law School, is another possible nominee. Professor Minow has written extensively on human rights law.  She has taught at Harvard Law School since 1981.