Colleagues call Thomas a coalition builder - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Colleagues call Thomas a coalition builder

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Friends and colleagues say federal appeals court Judge Sidney Thomas is a coalition builder who could add a Western perspective to the Supreme Court. The Associated Press has learned Thomas is one of about 10 people President Barack Obama is seriously reviewing as a potential nominee to replace Justice John Paul Stevens.

Thomas is 56 and from Billings. He serves on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The 9th Circuit is widely perceived as liberal. But Bernard Longo, a conservative Republican and a former law partner with Thomas at Moulton Bellingham PC, says that label does not apply to Thomas, whom he described as an independent thinker.

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy, who went to law school with Thomas at the University of Montana, said he believes Thomas and Stevens share many of the same qualities: kindness, a willingness to listen, a keen intellect and a forcefulness when it comes to expressing his view.

 

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

 

 

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