*Leah Ward Sears is back in the hunt for a seat on the United States Supreme Court.

The former chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court was previously among those considered to replace Justice David Souter, who retired in June 2009. President Barack Obama ultimately chose Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, multiple news outlets reported Monday that Sears, 54, is now among the half dozen candidates being considered by the president to replace Justice John Paul Stevens, who is retiring this summer.

Sears retired from the Georgia Supreme Court last June to teach, work for a think tank and join the Atlanta office of Schiff Harden, a law firm headquartered in Chicago.

She broke a number of barriers throughout her career. When appointed by Gov. Zell Miller in 1992 to the state Supreme Court, she was the first woman and youngest person ever to sit on the court. In 1995, Sears became the nation’s first black woman to preside over a state Supreme Court as chief justice.

Obama is expected to name a nominee within a few weeks to replace Stevens, who is retiring at the end of the high court’s term.

Others being considered by the White House include federal appeals court judges Diane Wood of Chicago, Sidney Thomas of Montana and Merrick Garland of Washington, Solicitor General Elena Kagan, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, the AP reported.

A number of news organizations reported last week that Wood, Garland and Kagan are the leading candidates.

Below, get to know Leah Ward Sears:

June 13, 2008 — For My People by Margaret Walker read by Leah Ward Sears Supreme Court Justice of Georgia for FPP, 1999

January 25, 2008 — Sears interviewed by Herbert Dennard