President-elect Donald J. Trump has given conservatives a brief sigh of relief; the conservative majority on the Court not only will be maintained, but also could be expanded during his presidency. I think we can all assume that Merrick Garland’s nomination is toast. So, let’s rehash the list of jurists that Trump said would be his picks for a Supreme Court nomination. Oh, and let’s not forget that he expanded the list (via CBS News):
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah
Neil Gorsuch, a judge of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
Margaret Ryan, a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
Edward Mansfield, a justice of the Iowa Supreme Court
Keith Blackwell, a justice of the Georgia Supreme Court
Charles Canady, a justice of the Florida Supreme Court
Timothy Tymkovich, chief judge of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
Amul Thapar, a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
Frederico Moreno, a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
Robert Young, chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court
This list is pretty solid concerning conservative credentials, and most on Trump’s list are young. The President-elect also got help with this list from the Heritage Foundation and The Federalist Society, a conservative legal group that the late Antonin Scalia co-founded in 1982, according to USA Today. For liberals, the Second Amendment is going to be successfully challenged any time soon, the abortion restriction bill that Texas enacted, which was struck down by the Court, might make another appearance, and the economically devastating regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency will be reined in. That’s one of the most underreported regulator nightmares that should have been front-and-center this cycle: Obama’s dreaded Clean Power Plan, which aims to cut our carbon emissions by nearly 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels. In short, that means economic death to rural America, already ravaged by Obama’s war on coal. Also, it would’ve impacted states that pretty much voted for Romney in 2012; it would have torpedoed the home budgets of fixed-income seniors, and electric bills would have gone through the roof. President-elect Trump said that the coal miners would get back to work, and if the Court hears arguments for the CPP’s legality, it certainly has a better chance of getting struck down than with Clinton as president. That’s a given. Let’s hold the President-elect accountable on that too.
He said he was going to pick someone from this list. He promised conservative judges; judges that will certainly decide on cases relating to pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, and constitutional issues. Let’s hope he doesn’t go off the reservation and pull a George Bush concerning his Harriet Meier’s nomination, which ended in her withdrawing her nomination due to the conservative backlash. It was a disaster (via CNN):
And although plenty of Republicans questioned Trump's policies, judicial conservatives are thrilled with the list of 21 potential nominees he put forward. Their only worry is to make sure he would keep his word. He worked hard to soothe them on the campaign trail, but is not bound by the list.
"The real question to which we may now find out the answer is just how serious Mr. Trump was about replacing Justice Scalia with a judge cut from the same cloth, and how much pressure he'll receive from Republicans in the Senate to stick to his original list -- or a judge with similarly conservative credentials," said Steve Vladeck, CNN contributor and professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law.
"President Bush tried to go outside the box when he nominated his White House Counsel, Harriett Miers, to replace Justice O'Connor -- but ended up having to withdraw her after facing conservative blowback," Vladeck added.
It was in May that Trump unexpectedly released a list of 11 judges.
The list included: 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.
According to the 2016 exits, the Supreme Court was a rather important factor with voters, especially Trump supporters. Let’s hope he doesn’t disappoint.
Here’s the 2016 SCOTUS docket.