On May 18, 2016, Donald Trump released a list of eleven names that he would consider as Supreme Court nominees. The list has been heralded as a who’s who of some of the best conservative judges in the country. We are going to be spending some time on this blog looking at the candidates.
The list includes: 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 and Don Willett of Texas.
This blog will specifically discuss two candidates: Steven Colloton of Iowa and Allison Eid of Colorado. There are many articles out there overviewing the potential SCOTUS candidate’s records but the bulk of them note that this list should make the right very happy.
Colloton is an exceptionally qualified candidate.
A federal judge on the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Colloton clerked for former Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Collotn [sic] also worked for Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr and in the George W., Bush Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. Friends have described Colloton as a “virtual walking encyclopedia of the law.” But several rulings he has written or supported, including one that allowed religious institutions to avoid providing contraception coverage under Obamacare, have angered progressives. In one case, Colloton voted to uphold a South Dakota law that advised women having abortions that they were at increased risk of suicide. Colloton wrote a separate opinion to underscore that he was not persuaded by the evidence, an American Psychological Association task force. He also has dissented from a string of 8th Circuit rulings that have protected the rights of employees, consumers and other groups. In one dissent, he argued that a city’s policy of using police dogs to bite and hold suspects without warning did not violate the Constitution.
Like many others on the list, Allison Eid is a conservative juggernaut in her own right.
Eid sits on Colorado’s Supreme Court, and is a former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, as well as a former Colorado solicitor general. As a state Supreme Court Justice, Eid was backed by “tort reform” supporters and other business interests. Before she took a seat on the court, the Associated Press reported that Eid was ”expected to follow her predecessor’s footsteps in some issues important to conservatives: strictly interpreting the law and working to rein in liability lawsuits seeking huge damages.”
In addition, Eid was appointed to assist with recording the history of the Supreme Court of the United States.
In 2002, President George W. Bush appointed her to serve on a committee to write the history of the Supreme Court. Colorado’s Republican governor at the time, Bill Owens, then appointed her to serve on the state Supreme Court. She won reelection to the job in 2008, with 75 percent of the vote.
Allison Eid and Steven Colloton have strong conservative track records and an excellent judicial pedigree making them both solid potential candidates to fill the enormous shoes left in the wake of the death of a conservative icon.