[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/05/17/obama.supreme.court/art.souter.cnn.jpg caption="Justice David Souter is retiring and President Obama is expected to choose his replacement soon."]
CNN Senior White House Correspondent
President Obama has started arming for the possibility of a major Supreme Court nomination battle, pulling a longtime Democratic power player into the White House to help run the confirmation process, senior administration officials told CNN.
Stephanie Cutter is leaving the Treasury Department, where she has served as one of Secretary Timothy Geithner's most senior advisers during the financial crisis, to be the point person for mobilizing public support for Obama's pick to replace retiring Justice David Souter, three senior administration officials said.
Administration officials say Obama is likely to name Souter's replacement in late May or early June, before the president leaves for Egypt to deliver a speech to the Muslim world. Regardless of whom he picks, liberal and conservative activists are already bracing for an epic battle over the future of the high court.
Cutter will reprise the key behind-the-scenes role that Republican operative Steve Schmidt played for the Bush administration on the successful nominations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito.
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