Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy officially announced his retirement Wednesday afternoon, setting up a battle for the ages during summer 2018. The news comes on the last day of this year's SCOTUS season, with final rulings on President Trump's travel ban, forced union dues and other cases this week.
Kennedy's last day will be July 31, giving President Trump some time to find his replacement. Who will it be? A look back to the campaign trail gives us a guess.
In May 2016, right after locking up the GOP nomination, candidate Donald Trump released a list of potential individuals he would put on the Surpreme Court if he made it to the White House.
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
Don Willett of Texas
At the time Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, who will oversee the confirmation hearing for the next Supreme Court justice nominee, said the list was impressive.
"Mr. Trump has laid out an impressive list of highly qualified jurists, including Judge Colloton from Iowa, who understand and respect the fundamental principle that the role of the courts is limited and subject to the Constitution and the rule of law," Grassley released in a statement at the time. "Understanding the types of judges a presidential nominee would select for the Supreme Court is an important step in this debate so the American people can have a voice in the direction of the Supreme Court for the next generation."
Once Trump secured his place in the Oval Office, the White House transition team released an updated list of potential nominees.
Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
Keith Blackwell of Georgia, Supreme Court of Georgia
Charles Canady of Florida, Supreme Court of Florida
Steven Colloton of Iowa, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
Allison Eid of Colorado, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
Britt Grant of Georgia, Supreme Court of Georgia
Raymond Gruender of Missouri, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Brett Kavanaugh of Maryland, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Raymond Kethledge of Michigan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Joan Larsen of Michigan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Mike Lee of Utah, United States Senator
Thomas Lee of Utah, Supreme Court of Utah
Edward Mansfield of Iowa, Supreme Court of Iowa
Federico Moreno of Florida, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
Kevin Newsom of Alabama, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
William Pryor of Alabama, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
Margaret Ryan of Virginia, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
David Stras of Minnesota, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
Diane Sykes of Wisconsin, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
Amul Thapar of Kentucky, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Timothy Tymkovich of Colorado, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
Robert Young of Michigan, Supreme Court of Michigan (Ret.)
Don Willett of Texas, Supreme Court of Texas
Patrick Wyrick of Oklahoma, Supreme Court of Oklahoma
President Trump said today he will choose someone from this list.
Big news from the pool — Trump says he will pick Anthony Kennedy’s replacement from his existing list of 25 potential nominees. That’s the same list he used to pick Neil Gorsuch.— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) June 27, 2018
In a midterm election year it seems whoever Trump nominates will make it through the Senate.
Democrats Donnelly, Manchin, and Heitkamp, all up for re-election in deep red states, voted for Gorsuch. https://t.co/NhHFzRLRzH— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) June 27, 2018