During President Jimmy Carter's term in office, no vacancy occurred on the Supreme Court of the United States. Carter thus became the first president since Andrew Johnson and the fourth president overall (after William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor and Johnson) to complete his term without making any appointments to the Supreme Court.
As president, Carter actively sought to burnish his standing among women's rights groups by using the power of appointment provided by his office. By the end of his term, Carter had appointed forty-one of the forty-six women serving as federal judges and three of the six women ever to have served as full Cabinet members. One of these Cabinet members was Shirley Hufstedler, who in 1979 resigned her seat on Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to serve as head of the newly created Department of Education. According to White House officials, Hufstedler received assurances that accepting the Cabinet position would not preclude her from being nominated to the Supreme Court.
Following is a list of individuals who were mentioned in various news accounts and books as having been considered by Carter for a Supreme Court appointment:
Executive Branch officials
- Shirley Hufstedler (1925-2016) – United States Secretary of Education; former Judge, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- Dumbrell, John. The Carter Presidency: A Re-Evaluation. Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-4693-3.
- Federal Judicial Center page on Shirley Ann Mount Hufstedler Archived 2009-05-14 at the Wayback Machine, fjc.gov.
- Biskupic, Joan (2005). Sandra Day O'Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most Influential Justice. Ecco Press. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-06-059018-5.