No one on Trump’s short list is fit to replace Kennedy

By Nan Aron, The Hill, June 27, 2018 

While the news of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement is not entirely unexpected, it still comes as a thunderclap. This is even more true now than it would have been last June, when speculation also swirled around his possible departure.

Since then, we have had another year to observe the Trump administration’s downward spiral into cruelty and incoherence, an approach to governing that has not spared the judicial branch. Trump has continued to target courts and judges with the crudest of insults, even as his White House works overtime to push forward lower-court judicial nominees who are among the most ideologically extreme and professionally underqualified we have seen in nearly 40 years in this field.

We’ve also had the chance to witness a season of Supreme Court decisions that reflect the impact of Trump’s first appointee to the high court, Justice Neil Gorsuch. Anyone who saw the photo of Mitch McConnell shaking hands with Gorsuch — posted just moments after the court upheld the Trump travel ban — has no doubt that Gorsuch is delivering on the Trump agenda. Case after case shows the grim effects, from the Muslim ban, to the protection of fake health centers’ practice of misleading pregnant women, to upholding Ohio’s purge of its voter rolls and a bakery’s decision not to serve a same-sex couple.

So the stakes for this next Supreme Court nomination are enormous. And none of the people on Trump’s “short list” of some two dozen potential nominees, a list that Trump has already acknowledged as a product of the Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation, gives us confidence. No one on the list seems likely to be free of the intense political bias toward the ruling class that judicial nominees of this administration possess in spades. Read more.

 

Amy Coney Barrett
Indiana
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Age: 46

Read more about Amy Coney Barrett.

Keith Blackwell 
Georgia
Supreme Court of Georgia

Age: 42

Read more about Keith Blackwell.

Charles Canady 
Florida
Supreme Court of Florida

Age: 64

Read more about Charles Canady.

Steven Colloton 
Iowa
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Age: 55

Read more about Steven Colloton.

Allison Eid 
Colorado
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Age: 53

Read more about Allison Eid.

Britt Grant 
Georgia
Supreme Court of Georgia

Age: 40

Read more about Britt Grant.

Raymond Gruender 
Missouri
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Age: 55

Read more about Raymond Gruender.

Thomas Hardiman 
Pennsylvania
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Age: 53

Read more about Thomas Hardiman.

Brett Kavanaugh 
Maryland
U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

Age: 53

Read more about Brett Kavanaugh.

Raymond Kethledge 
Michigan
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Age: 51

Read more about Raymond Kethledge.

Joan Larsen
Michigan
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Age: 49

Read more about Joan Larsen.

Mike Lee
Utah
United States Senator

Age: 47

Read more about Mike Lee.

Thomas Lee
Utah
Supreme Court of Utah

Age: 53

Read more about Thomas Lee.

Edward Mansfield
Iowa
Supreme Court of Iowa

Age: 61

Read more about Edward Mansfield.

Federico Moreno
Florida
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida

Age: 66

Read more about Federico Moreno.

Kevin Newsom
Alabama
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Age: 45

Read more about Kevin Newsom.

William Pryor
Alabama
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Age: 56

Read more about William Pryor.

Margaret Ryan
Virginia
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

Age: 54

Read more about Margaret Ryan.

David Stras
Minnesota
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Age: 44

Read more about David Stras.

Diane Sykes
Wisconsin
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Age: 60

Read more about Diane Sykes.

Amul Thapar
Kentucky
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Age: 49

Read more about Amul Thapar.

Timothy Tymkovich
Colorado
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Age: 61

Read more about Timothy Tymkovich.

Patrick Wyrick
Oklahoma
Supreme Court of Oklahoma

Age: 37

Read more about Patrick Wyrick.

Don Willett
Texas
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Age: 51

Read more about Don Willett.

Robert Young
Michigan
Supreme Court of Michigan (Ret.)

Age: 67

Read more about Robert Young.