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Trump Releases List Of 11 Possible SCOTUS Nominees

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Trump Releases List Of 11 Possible SCOTUS Nominees

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump poses for a photo after an interview with Reuters in his office in Trump Tower, in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., May 17, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Donald Trump released a list of potential Supreme Court picks Wednesday following months of speculation over who he would nominate to fill Antonin Scalia’s seat should he win the presidency in November.

The list is widely seen as a strategy by Trump to placate the “movement conservatives” actively resisting his candidacy, by committing to place sufficiently right-wing justices on the court.

Trump has named a total of 11 possible candidates for the position, according to a list obtained by the Associated Press. Those candidates were: Steven Colloton of Iowa, Allison Eid of Colorado, Raymond Gruender of Missouri, Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, Raymond Kethledge of Michigan, Joan Larsen of Michigan, Thomas Lee of Utah, William Pryor of Alabama, David Stras of Minnesota, Diane Sykes of Wisconsin and Don Willett of Texas.

Three of the candidates, Hardiman, Kethledge, and Pryor, were appointed to their seats by George W. Bush, a move that could be seen as an attempt to placate anti-Trump conservatives who claimed he was not really a conservative. Republican political donors and social conservatives who have so far been dismayed by Trump’s takeover of the party may hold their noses if he settles on an explicitly pro-life and pro-business pick.

Trump wasn’t always set on naming judges who could placate Republicans accusing him of being too liberal. Before Trump had to get serious about who he would nominate to the court — or, realistically, before he had to reassure conservative donors that he was really a Republican — infamous Trump surrogate Roger Stone said in March, “I can’t think of anybody who’d be a more fitting replacement for the late Judge Anton ‘Nino’ Scalia than [Fox News host and 9/11 truther] Judge Napolitano … I think that’s exactly the right spot for him.”

Trump also floated his sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, who is a senior judge in the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. “I would love to,” he said during an interview on Bloomberg. “But I think she would be the one to say, ‘No way, no way.'”

Two of the judges currently on Trump’s list, Pryor and Sykes, were previously named as potential nominees, and their judicial records show they would be a peace offering to conservatives opposed to Trump. Pryor is a stridently pro-life candidate who said Roe v. Wade allowed for “a constitutional right to murder an unborn child.” He has also supported strict voter ID laws, which time and again have been proven to suppress the voting rights of minorities. Similarly, Sykes, the ex-wife of #NeverTrump radio host Charlie Sykes, penned a court decision that broadened religious objectors’ ability to deny women health coverage for contraceptives.

The National Review, a standard-bearing conservative publication home to many anti-Trump conservatives, is one in a chorus of conservative voices that have said Trump’s Supreme Court picks are just as important as his blatant nativism and racism.

“If there were a way to be absolutely certain that Trump would appoint two, three, or four Antonin Scalia clones during his presidency, a lot of Trump-skeptic conservatives might immediately see one giant reason to vote for him,” swrote Jim Geraghty on the magazine’s website yesterday. “If nothing else, they could rest easy knowing that the Second Amendment wouldn’t be effectively nullified or curtailed, that Citizens United would remain the law of the land, that voter-ID laws would be upheld, and that pro-lifers could continue to make progress in the courts.”

The Heritage Foundation, a right wing think connected to many deep-pocketed conservative donors, is said to have had a role in the list’s creation. Trump indicated in March that the think tank would have some role in picking his list, saying he had “authorized the Heritage Foundation to work on the list of names.”

Meanwhile, Trump has called upon Republicans to continue blocking Merrick Garland’s nomination hearing, ostensibly on the grounds that the next president should choose the ninth supreme court justice. “I don’t think so, no I think they should do what they’re doing,” said the likely Republican nominee on “Good Morning America.” “I think they should wait until the next president and let the next president pick.” He continued, “the ideal would be Scalia reincarnated.”

Landing on Trump’s list may have come as a surprise to at least one candidate. A year ago, Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willet penned a revealing poem on Twitter:



  1. Dan S May 18, 2016

    Now that we’re all so relieved that Mr. Big Hands has revealed who he would appoint to the Supreme Court when is he going to release his damn tax returns ?

    1. Paul Bass May 19, 2016

      Never! His supporters don’t care about that.

    2. iamproteus May 19, 2016

      Trump said it: “It’s none of your business!” All you need to know is that he’s richer than you so don’t worry about it! Just give him a few weeks and all the nation’s problems will be solved…..and the rest of the world will pay for it.

  2. AgLander May 19, 2016

    Trump now ahead of crooked Hillary in a national poll. And he hasn’t even started on her yet! It is not going to be pretty in November for crooked Hillary…..that is, if she even makes it to November since the FBI may get to her first!

    1. iamproteus May 19, 2016


  3. Leftout May 19, 2016

    Finally a semblance of truth. Trump is looking for constitutionalists and does not care about republican elite concerns, they essentially are persona no grata . This is a people re evolution both Bernie and Trump .

  4. paulyz May 19, 2016

    The “subject” heading in our emails states, Trump’s SCOTUS Scam, more deceptive words when that is the National Memo’s desire, to put the word Scam out there. There isn’t any proof of this, just desperate attempts to stop Trump. Isn’t working.

    1. iamproteus May 19, 2016

      Now you need proof? You conservatives don’t need any proof when it comes to accusations against a Democrat but now you demand proof? Eight repub investigations re: Bengazi, all failing to find any wrong-doing, and now their own lawyer saying there is nothing there and what does Gowdy say?….Do it again!

      1. paulyz May 19, 2016

        Uhh, braniak, there are 150 FBI agents working on Crooked Hillary’s emails & proven lies on Benghazi, but you Leftists don’t care, as long as it’s another Leftist in trouble. Bernie is getting screwed by the Democrat Establishment as well.

  5. The lucky one May 19, 2016

    Keep working on it Mr. Drumpf. You’ve almost got the Clint Eastwood scowl/squint down but somehow it doesn’t create the same effect coming from an orange haired doughboy like yourself

  6. Aaron_of_Portsmouth May 19, 2016

    Trump is just being a consummate egomaniac who has become a “junkie” for attention, power, and prestige. Such a childish preoccupation with one’s self is far beyond normalcy and clearly indicates a need for professional help.

    I say this not out of malice but based on careful observation and reflection. Only the desperate, infantile, and insecure are comfortable with the shenanigans of the churlish display of his lordship. (Which may explain why so many Congressmen are in office as a result of a huge number of the electorate imbued with such flaws).

    One thing is certain: He hasn’t nearly exhausted his bag of “emptiness and hubris”, with more revelations to come. It’s all part of his infatuation with himself, the fascination with making a deal, and possessing the knack for orchestrating one grand scene after another, with him playing the lead role in a cast of one—Narcissism at its very best.

  7. Patrick Drazen May 19, 2016

    Apparently it was a simple thing: Trump probably asked an “intern” to come up with a list, and the “intern” copied the list from the Federalist website.

  8. Dominick Vila May 19, 2016

    The list of far right conservatives that Donald Trump so graciously provided as potential SCOTUS nominees, should be reason enough for every Democrat and Independent to vote for whomever the Democratic party nominee is, and for every Democrat or Independent running for Congress.
    It is clear that in addition to Trump, the GOP leadership, including Mitch McConnell, are confident of a victory in November. That is why they have blocked Jude Garland’s hearings. With at least another two SCOTUS Justice vacancies within the next couple of years, a dramatic shift to the right will overturn a lot more than Roe V Wade, the ACA, Civil Rights protections, and Affirmative Action. When Republicans said they were planning to take America Back they were not kidding. A SCOTUS with people like these sitting on the bench and making decisions would take us back to the 1950s.

    1. Karen May 19, 2016

      Dominick there aren’t any more ways to express the urgency of a united democratic party after our nominee is decided than the makeup of the SCOTUS for many years to come. This is THE most important consideration before us. I’d like to see less emotion about the candidates and more thoughtful consideration of what’s really at stake here.

  9. Kevin Kovo May 19, 2016

    What sickens me is we have a sitting president and Justice Scalia passed away three months ago. But the GOP stands in the way of Obama nominating a replacement. A president, whether you like his politics or not, was fairly elected in this country twice. The irony here, of course, is that George W. won the office the first time thanks to a Supreme Court decision related to the vote count in Florida.

  10. Kanawah May 19, 2016

    Once he is in, if we are so UNFORTUNATE to get stuck with this buffoon, there is no telling what he will do.

  11. notafoxfan May 19, 2016

    he really is a “presumptive nominee” isn’t he??? I heard on a news channel that he really knows nothing about the names he proposed, but they were given to him by others to present as a way to “placate”..typical and seemingly continuing dishonest behavior by mr trump..

  12. notafoxfan May 19, 2016

    he really is a “presumptive nominee” isn’t he??? I heard on a news channel that he really knows nothing about the names he proposed, but they were given to him by others to present as a way to “placate”..typical and seemingly continuing dishonest behavior by mr trump..

  13. greenlantern1 May 20, 2016

    Trump endorsed Mitt Romney!
    The CONSTITUTION was written by our FOUNDING FATHERS!
    The BOOK OF MORMON was written in 1830!
    Were our FOUNDING FATHERS Mormons?


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