Trump Adds Five People to List of Potential Supreme Court Picks

Ivan Schwartz
November 20, 2017

Barrett, who was confirmed recently to the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals, was questioned by California Democratic Sen.

At 81, Kennedy is the second-oldest justice on the court behind liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 84, and some former Kennedy clerks have said he is considering retirement. After taking office, Mr. Trump named Neil M. Gorsuch, a federal appellate judge who had been on his original list, to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat.

The White House's statement specifically noted the president's commitment to "Make the Judiciary Great Again" and reaffirmed that his next Supreme Court nominee would be "in the mold of Justice [Neil] Gorsuch".

The White House released the list on the second day of the conservative Federalist Society's annual meeting in the nation's capital, a confab that attracts numerous nation's leading conservative legal thinkers. He had been seen as a strong candidate for the next Supreme Court vacancy in a Republican administration, particularly if Kennedy were to retire. Feinstein said at one point the "dogma lives" in her. "You never know when there will be a vacancy".

Trump has won confirmation of eight appellate judges in his first year, more than any president since Richard Nixon, despite almost unanimous opposition from Democrats. Republicans now have 52 votes in the Senate and would need at least 50 to confirm a new justice, with the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Pence.

Amy Coney Barrett, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Britt C. Grant are three of President Trump's five new additions.

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"Tonight I can report that a person can be both a publicly committed originalist and textualist and be confirmed to the Supreme Court of the United States,"Gorsuch said during his speech to kick off the Federalist Society's annual conference in D.C., the Washington Examiner reported".

As a presidential hopeful, Mr. Trump released a list of 21 names of judges (and one politician) and promised not to stray from it should he win the election and be in a position to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016. When Trump's first two lists were released a year ago, totaling 21 names, they tilted heavily toward judges from "red" states, including many state Supreme Court judges with no federal court experience.

Trump's choices won instant acclaim from conservatives.

"Originalism has regained its place at the table ... textualism has triumphed ... and neither one is going anywhere on my watch", Gorsuch told the assembly, which included just one other Supreme Court Justice, Samuel Alito, Politico reported.

"These men and ladies have invested a very long time in the trenches of state and government battling for the Constitution and the run of law", she said. "Trump's nominees all fit the same pattern: narrow-minded elitists who protect corporations and the wealthy over the rights of all Americans".

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