President Barack Obama

President Obama has begun interviewing candidates for the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Sources close to the process say that among those being interviewed are Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia; Judge Sri Srinivasan, of the same court; Judge Paul Watford, of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals based in San Francisco; Judge Jane Kelly, of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals based in St. Louis; and U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who serves in Washington, D.C.

On Monday, President Obama announced changes to the federal prison system that include banning solitary confinement for juvenile offenders and for prisoners who have committed low-level infractions, calling the practice overused and potentially devastating.

The Supreme court has once again stepped into the fire of hot-button political issues. The court said Tuesday it would rule by summer on the legality of President Obama's executive action granting temporary legal status to as many as 4.5 million people who entered the U.S. illegally.

While U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., clearly has his philosophical and political differences with the president, last night he praised Barack Obama’s plan to embark on a major effort to cure cancer and boost medical research. The president is putting Vice President Joe Biden in charge of what he calls “mission control” of that effort.

Last year, after losing his son Beau to brain cancer, the vice president said that with a “new moonshot” America could cure cancer. The president agrees and made boosting medical research one of the biggest proposals in his speech.