Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
Speculation runs rampant near the end of any Supreme Court term as to whether a retirement is announced from the bench. While most would like to see the senile Ruth Bader Ginsburg retiring, she will hang on until death or until Trump is out of office. Conversely, Kennedy has made some intimations that he would resign while a Republican is in office. Whatever the case, Trump has his list of 25 possible nominees should a vacancy occur. The next two articles gives a thumbnail sketch of each. What is noticeable is the few potential nominees who received their law degrees from so-called prestigious Ivy League law schools. Except in a few cases, they also do not come from the Leftist bastions on the East and West coasts.
Part One will look at the lower 13 possibilities with part 2 looking at the top 12 possibilities based on a variety of factors. They include their age, their success in getting approved previously in the Senate, their education and the chances of their nomination meeting controversy over previous decisions or writings.
#25- Edward Mansfield
Mansfield currently is on the Iowa Supreme Court and although not the oldest in consideration, is one of only a handful over 60 on this list at 61. And even though this may not be “old” in Supreme Court parlance, most recent nominees have been younger in the hopes they would serve longer terms. Possible red flags for Mansfield will likely be on his decisions regarding life without parole for minors who commit murder, and another case where he ruled that a sexual harassment claim was without merit. In this day and age, that is a huge potential minefield to navigate in a Senate confirmation hearing.
#24. Charles Canady
He currently serves on the Florida Supreme Court and is one of many potential nominees to serve at the state supreme court level meaning that Trump is reaching outside the box and looking beyond the Circuit Court level. In 1992, he successfully won a seat in the House and is credited with coining the term “partial birth abortion.” Appointed by Jeb Bush to the state’s district court, his successor, Charlie Crist, appointed Canady to the state supreme court. When Florida overhauled their death penalty law, it was struck down by SCOTUS. The renewed law then required that the death penalty be handed down by a unanimous jury with Canady dissenting. Thus his views on the death penalty and his age (63) may be distracting influences.
#23. Brett Kavanaugh
Kavanaugh sits on the DC Circuit having won his place there after being nominated by George W. Bush in 2003. A graduate of Yale and at age 53, the red flag for this writer is his clerkship for Kennedy, but that may be a selling point if he is to replace Kennedy. Regardless, his 2003 nomination was held up for three years in a contentious debate. Since then, he has done nothing to win the hearts of liberals having dissented from a case upholding Obamacare in 2014. He ruled against the EPA in a decision later overruled by SCOTUS regarding the Clean Air Act and later had a decision upheld by SCOTUS against the EPA. He has been a critic of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If Trump wants to make a conservative statement, this is his man and it would be a gutsy move.
#22. Thomas Rex Lee
Lee currently serves on the Utah state supreme court after formerly clerking for Justice Clarence Thomas. At age 53, it is just about right. Since joining the bench, he has been described as a prolific writer with majority decisions, concurrences, or dissents. This tendency is akin to those of both Thomas and Antonin Scalia. He additionally has a very full publication resume which will be parsed and misrepresented by the Left. However, he may be a stealthy candidate who will say the right things in hearings. A roll of the dice, but they appear to be loaded in a Scalia-like manner, so not a bad thing!
#21 Robert Young
Young retired from the Michigan Supreme Court for private practice, announced that he would run against Debbie Stabenow in the 2018 Senate election, then dropped out due to lack of fundraising. At age 66, he is the oldest on Trump’s list. While on the state supreme court, he ruled against the use of eminent domain for private projects and upheld Michigan’s voter ID laws. The latter will be used against him in confirmation hearings since Leftists equate voter ID requirements as akin to poll taxes which discriminated against blacks. Did I mention that Robert Young is black?
#20 Timothy Tymkovich
At age 61, he certainly has the conservative credentials having authored the lower court Hobby Lobby decision later upheld by the Supreme Court. The problem here is that he served alongside Neil Gorsuch on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and Trump may be reluctant to dip into that Circuit a second time around. As a lawyer for Colorado, he also argued before the Supreme Court in the Romer vs. Evans case regarding LGBT rights and lost that case. Thus, his alleged animus to gay rights will likely be a point of contention.
#19 Steve Colloton
Approved to the 8th Circuit under Bush by a 94-1 vote, Colloton at age 55 clerked under former Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Since then, he has done nothing to ruffle the feathers of conservatives or liberals although one can rest assure the Left will find something to bitch about. Another stealthy candidate with a proven winning pedigree (in different partisan times), Colloton is an under-the-radar type of candidate.
#18 Federico Moreno
Elevation to the Supreme Court from District Court judge status would be a huge jump upwards. As US District Judge for Southern Florida, Moreno was approved by voice vote in the Senate after a failed stab at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. On the plus side, he’s Hispanic. On the minus side, he’s 63. Additionally, one of his rulings in favor of HMOs will obviously come under attack.
#17 Don Willett
Recently elevated to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals by Trump from the Texas Supreme Court, this may be (to libtards) a controversial selection and will likely evoke a fight considering he won his spot on the Circuit Court- barely- by a 50-47 vote. The nomination of Willett would no doubt prompt a reopening of cases and speeches that can best be found here. Reading this document is a reading of the Left’s wish list which Willett has consistently ruled against while on the Texas supreme court. This would be a battle royale of a confirmation fight and one Trump may be looking for.
#16 Raymond Kethledge
He’s young (51), from Michigan with experience on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals after being approved by a voice vote after being nominated by Bush. As a former clerk to Kennedy, some view him (and Kavanaugh) as front runners for the nomination should Kennedy retire. That would likely be a consideration on the part of Trump. What may elevate Kethledge further is his sometimes self-deprecating humor and straightforward style of writing. He is best known for raking the IRS over the coals for stonewalling Tea Party groups in a lawsuit discovery action. Organized labor also will likely have problems with Kethledge.
#15 Amul Thapar
This Indian-American was elevated to the Sixth Circuit by Trump and approved by a 52-44 vote. The main argument against Thapar was his support of the Citizens United decision and the fact some Democrats believe that the Federalist Society is taking over the judicial system (not a bad thing). Bringing some ethnic (Asian) diversity to the Court may be a selling point and he is young enough (49) to make an impact for many years to come.
#14. Kevin Newsom
Another young potential nominee at age 45, Newsom was recently elevated to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals after being appointed by Trump and receiving a 66-31 vote in the Senate. For any Trump judicial appointment, that is beyond successful! Again, his membership with the Federalist Society seems to have the Left’s knickers in a twist. He has written against substantive due process, a legal doctrine that brought you Obergfell and Roe v. Wade. Leftist groups will crawl out of the woodwork against Newsom based largely on his work as solicitor general of Alabama- a job where he is assigned the task of defending Alabama’s laws.
#13. David Stras
Elevated to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals by Trump, this Trump nominee won confirmation by a 56-42 vote. Based largely on his dissenting opinions while on the Minnesota supreme court, the Left opposed his nomination to the Circuit Court arguing he was insensitive towards…well, you name it: minorities, sexual assault victims, the handicapped, and oh…he approves of voter ID laws. They further took him to task because he had the temerity to criticize Justices Kennedy and Sotomayor and wrote an article in support of Justice Pierce Butler who was one of the four stalwarts against FDR’s New Deal legislation. Did I mention that Stras writes for the Federalist Society?
Tomorrow: the final 12 possibilities