“…Selecting a replacement for Justice Scalia from one of the 20 judges on [Trump’s] list who will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States… Actually, there are two lists Trump released during the campaign, totaling 21 names, including state as well as federal judges, and one U.S. senator, Mike Lee of Utah, who rejected the idea at the time and never endorsed Trump.
“Two days after the election, a quick survey of individuals who normally would be involved in the Supreme Court selection process for an incoming Republican president produced a remarkable lack of information. Individuals involved in the past said this time they had ‘no idea’ who was doing this for Trump and had not been consulted.
“The lists produced during the campaign were generated in large part by the conservative Heritage Foundation, and the ideology represented by those potential nominees ranges from very conservative to even more conservative. There are some common themes, however. A general hostility to claims of ‘reproductive freedom,’ from abortion to contraception; a hostility to government regulations, ranging from rules aimed at protecting the environment from coal-fired utilities to rules limiting access to guns. All of these are consistent with positions taken by Trump during the campaign. Some of the listed judges, however, have taken anti-gay-rights positions that Trump stayed away from in the campaign.
“It is not entirely clear at this point whether Trump will actually pick someone from his two campaign lists or might go outside those lists. And there is some effort to get him to consider conservative judges and lawyers who are not on the lists. Among them: Paul Clement, the former George W. Bush solicitor general, who has argued 75 cases in the Supreme Court, including some of the most important conservative challenges to liberal Obama administration policies; Brett Kavanaugh, a highly respected federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia; and Jeffrey Sutton, of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Ohio, who was also one of the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s favorite law clerks.
"Trump's list includes none of the conservative lawyers who practice regularly before the Supreme Court, nor does it include any of the highly regarded conservative judges who sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the court that the late Justice Antonin Scalia served on, and on which Obama nominee Garland now serves as Chief Judge.
"In the past, the D.C. Circuit, as it is known, has been something of a farm team for the Supreme Court. The current chief justice, John Roberts, and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Clarence Thomas, all served on the D.C. Circuit before being elevated to the Supreme Court.
"Except for Sen. Lee, Trump's list is drawn from other courts around the country, both state and federal. Friday's additional 10 include:
- Keith Blackwell
- Charles Canady
- Neil Gorsuch
- Mike Lee
- Edward Mansfield
- Federico Moreno
- Margaret A. Ryan
- Amul Thapar
- Timothy Tymkovich
- Robert Young