Speaking from the Diplomatic Reception room of the White House on Wednesday, the president read off a list of potential Trump administration Supreme Court nominees. The list includes Daniel Cameron, the Kentucky attorney general, as well as Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Josh Hawley of Missouri — all Republicans.
Also on the list are Bridget Bade, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals; Paul Clement, former U.S. solicitor general; Stuart Kyle Duncan, 5th Circuit judge; Stephen Engel, assistant attorney general; Noel Francesco, former solicitor general; James Ho, 5th Circuit judge; Carlos Muniz, Florida Supreme Court; Martha Packold, Northern District of Illinois judge; Peter Phipps, 3rd Circuit judge; Sarah Pitlyk, Eastern District of Missouri judge; Allison Jones Rushing, 4th Circuit judge; Kate Todd, deputy assistant to the president; and Lawrence Van Dyke, 9th Circuit judge. These 20 new names are on top of the president’s previous list of 25 judges.
President Trump continues to keep his promise to prioritize the appointment of judges while Joe Biden continues to duck the issue and hide his list.
— Carrie Severino (@JCNSeverino) September 9, 2020
Cruz has played ball with Trump and is a hot pick. Cotton is a solid conservative from a red state, thus the seat is safe. He’s also smart money. But Hawley and Cameron are too politically valuable to take off the playing field. No go on them. The likely next pick, if Trump gets the opportunity, is Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the 7th Circuit. She has serious star power, is young so her court tenure would be long, and is reliably conservative. We hope. She would be the replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsberg if RBG left the Court. Given the Senate will probably stay in Republican hands, if Trump is reelected, Barrett is a lock.
Switching to campaign mode, the president said Joe Biden had not released his own Supreme Court names because “they are so far left [they] could never withstand scrutiny.” Speaking of the Democrats he said, “Unfortunately, there is a growing radical left movement that rejects the principle of equal treatment under the law. If this extreme movement is granted a majority on the Supreme Court, it will fundamentally transform America without a single vote of Congress. Radical justices will erase the Second Amendment, silence political speech and require taxpayers to fund extremely late-term abortion. It will give unelected bureaucrats the power to destroy millions of American jobs. They will remove the words under God from the Pledge of Allegiance. They will unilaterally declare the death penalty unconstitutional, even for the most depraved mass murderers.”
Hawley already said no thank you: “I appreciate the President’s confidence in listing me as a potential Supreme Court nominee. But as I told the President, Missourians elected me to fight for them in the Senate, and I have no interest in the high court. I look forward to confirming constitutional conservatives.”
Cotton and Cruz left the door open.
Cotton said, “The Supreme Court could use some more justices who understand the difference between applying the law and making the law, which the Court does when it invents a right to an abortion, infringes on religious freedom, and erodes the Second Amendment.”
Cruz said, “It’s humbling and an immense honor to be considered for the Supreme Court. The High Court plays a unique role in defending our Constitution, and there is no greater responsibility in public service than to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”