Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm is a darling of moderate Democratic politics who would become the first justice in nearly four decades without experience as a judge -- and the first since the Great Depression born outside the United States.
Granholm, 50, is in her second term of a governorship that has been defined largely by the persistent economic troubles of her state, the heart of the U.S. automobile industry with unemployment that remains highest in the country.
Her path to political power runs through Hollywood, Harvard Law School and a series of public-sector legal jobs of relatively low visibility until she catapulted to her first elected office as Michigan's attorney general.
Granholm is a Catholic who favors abortion rights. As attorney general, she supported a change sought by gun rights advocates that made it easier to carry concealed weapons. She also expanded the office's consumer protection work and created a unit to pursue internet crimes.