Trump has a list of 25 potential candidates that he drew up, with help from conservative legal scholars. The list was drawn up before the appointment of Neil Gorsuch. To fill the vacancy on the court created by Justice Kennedy’s retirement Trump says he will choose from this list.
Here is the list:
1. Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
2. Keith Blackwell of Georgia, Supreme Court of Georgia
3. Charles Canady of Florida, Supreme Court of Florida
4. Steven Colloton of Iowa, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
5. Allison Eid of Colorado, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
6. Britt Grant of Georgia, Supreme Court of Georgia
7. Raymond Gruender of Missouri, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
8. Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
9. Brett Kavanaugh of Maryland, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
10. Raymond Kethledge of Michigan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
11. Joan Larsen of Michigan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
12. Mike Lee of Utah, U.S. senator
13. Thomas Lee of Utah, Supreme Court of Utah
14. Edward Mansfield of Iowa, Supreme Court of Iowa
15. Federico Moreno of Florida, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
16. Kevin Newsom of Alabama, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
17. William Pryor of Alabama, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
18. Margaret Ryan of Virginia, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
19. David Stras of Minnesota, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
20. Diane Sykes of Wisconsin, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
21. Amul Thapar of Kentucky, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
22. Timothy Tymkovich of Colorado, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
23. Robert Young of Michigan, Supreme Court of Michigan (Ret.)
24. Don Willett of Texas, Supreme Court of Texas
25. Patrick Wyrick of Oklahoma, Supreme Court of Oklahoma
I don’t know much about most of them but I think it likely all of them are high qualified and conservative, meaning they will uphold the rule of law and not base their decisions on their personal political views when those views conflict with the rule of law, previous precedents, and common sense.
We want to be able to make predictions on how the Justices will rule in a case based upon the law, earlier precedents, and common sense. It’s easier to predict how a politicized Justice will rule, but it’s not very satisfying if it’s the law you love and not the political animal.
I do know that Allison Eid of Colorado was a very good justice on the Colorado Supreme Court who put the law first and not clouded with personal politics. She’s been on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals only a short time. She’s smart which is crucial for a Supreme Court Justice faced with every sort of legal argument from brilliant to bone-jarring stupid.
I’ve read several of Diane Sykes opinions, mostly dissents, on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. I was smiling through every one for its clear understanding of the law. If Trump wants to appoint a woman who will act as a counter weight to the three stoogettes on the Supreme Court, either of Eid or Sykes will fill the bill.
Sykes is married to former conservative talk show host Charlie Sykes, who has recently lost his marbles. He hates Donald Trump and now devotes his time to viciously attacking Trump. He doesn’t have much to do these days and his wife works long hours.
It’s a testament to Trump that he has at least two people on his list who either hate him or are married to someone who hates him. The one I know who hates Trump is Mike Lee of Utah. Trump does not let his ego get in the way. He obviously believes Mike Lee would make an excellent Justice on the Court. He’s won’t let Diane Sykes’ husband dissuade him from either appointing her or keeping her on the list for next time.
Thomas Lee of the Utah Supreme Court and Senator Mike Lee are brothers.
UPDATE: Trump has apparently narrowed it down to these five: Brett Kavanuagh, Amul Thapar, Amy Barrett, Thomas Hardiman, and Raymond Kethledge. Information on all these can be found at The Daily Wire. I’m skeptical of Brett Kavanuagh because he’s a former clerk of Anthony Kennedy. I can’t see replacing Kennedy with a possible clone who might yearn to be the next swing vote on the bench.