President Donald Trump updated his list of individuals he would consider nominating to the Supreme Court should he win a second term in office. A standing list of 20 candidates nearly doubled on Wednesday when the President announced 20 more potential appointees to the nation’s highest court.
Of course, the President would only be allowed to make a Supreme Court appointment in the case that one if its current nine justices vacates their seat. Still, Trump believes that his promise to appoint conservative judges to the court was a key to winning the 2016 election, when he reassured wary Republicans that he would reward their support with conservative nominations.
The list released by the White House features the names of several well-known conservatives, including three sitting U.S. senators. Now, with over forty names on a list and zero Supreme Court seats to fill, many view the entire announcement as a campaign stunt. That argument is verified by precedent.
In May of 2016, just as it became clear that Trump would be the Republican nominee for president, he released a long-list of conservatives he would consider appointing to the Supreme Court. Notably missing from that list: Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, the two judges Trump ultimately placed on the court. By September of that year, Trump had released a second list of names, which included Gorsuch, but not Kavanaugh.
As a campaign tactic, it may have worked. Even Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who was a hesitant Trump endorser, said that voting for Trump would be worth it if it meant placing conservative justices on the high court. And while Trump has fulfilled his commitment, both to the Supreme Court and to lower federal courts, those appointees have not necessarily come from his public list of contenders.
Among the 40 individuals Trump now claims he will consider for appointment to the Supreme Court are three sitting senators: Sen. Ted Crux (R-TX), Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO). In the past, it has not been uncommon for U.S. Senators to ascend to the Supreme Court, but no such appointment has been made in nearly 50 years.
Sen. Hawley responded by saying that, as he has told the President, he is not interested in the job, though his priority for any judicial nominee is overturning Roe v. Wade. Sen. Cotton, while responding neutrally to his consideration, also said that “It’s time for Roe. v. Wade to go.” Meanwhile, Sen. Cruz simply said that he was honored to be in the running.
Among the other names on the list are several federal judges, former solicitors general, and White House lawyers. Commenting on his list, Trump said that each of the potential appointees were conservatives in the mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
But while there is not currently an open Supreme Court seat, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the 87-year-old dean of the court’s liberal bloc, announced this summer that her cancer has returned. That means that her days on the court may be limited. And McConnell has said that he would be willing to push through a Supreme Court appointment in the final days of a Trump presidency, despite the hardline he took in 2016, when he forbade President Barack Obama from filling a seat for almost a year because of the looming presidential election. Meanwhile, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has released no such list. He did, however, pledge in a March debate that he would nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court if he becomes president.
Reprinted with permission from https://werax.com/trump-releases-list-of-potential-supreme-court-nominees/
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