DIANE WOOD’S TRAVEL PLANS…. We haven’t had any good scuttlebutt on possible Supreme Court nominees in a while. In fact, as searches go, this one has been pretty quiet and seen few, if any, leaks.

It’s what made this report from ABC’s Jan Crawford Greenburg pretty interesting.

Federal Appeals Court Judge Diane Wood, one of the leading contenders to replace David Souter, is in Washington today. The highly regarded Wood is here, ostensibly, to attend a legal conference at Georgetown. But the timing is curious, and here’s why.

According to a student, she didn’t teach her first-year civil procedure class at the University of Chicago Law School yesterday afternoon and provided no advance notice or explanation. That’s apparently because she was flying to DC — to attend the long-scheduled judicial conference, even though she is not on the program as a panelist or participant. […]

[Wood] is among the top three prospects Obama is considering, along with Judge Sonia Sotomayor and Solicitor General Elena Kagan, sources tell me…. [O]f the three, Wood comes closest to meeting the criteria he has laid out in a justice. She could be his home run pick: She brings the intellectual heft and collegiality that would command respect on the Supreme Court, along with the life experiences that Obama has indicated he wants in his nominee. What’s more, Obama knows her. They both taught at the University of Chicago Law School.

The Washington Post added that President Obama has “already sat down with” Wood, as part of the review of Supreme Court candidates.

For more on Wood and what she’d bring to the high court, Jeffrey Rosen has a good piece on her today.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.