To follow up on yesterday, we thought we would break down some details of President Trump’s new list of judges. President Trump released his list because voters deserve a clear understanding of a candidate’s vision of the direction of the Supreme Court. Vice President Biden needs to explain what kind of judges he would select, for as President Trump stated: “Unfortunately, there is a growing radical-left movement that rejects the principle of equal treatment under law. If this extreme movement is granted a majority on the Supreme Court, it will fundamentally transform America without a single vote of Congress.”
Briefly on the new list. It includes three Senators, Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, who are very well known and leading conservatives. Instead let’s first focus on the current judges on the list:
Bridget Bade (54 years old), Judge of the Ninth Circuit. Judge Bade has quickly shown herself to be one of the most reliable conservatives on the frequently anti-constitutional Ninth Circuit. Her voting record in en banc cases is about as good as possible and her opinions are lawyerly and sophisticated, showing a respect for separation of powers, the proper role of the judiciary, and textualism. Judge Bade was confirmed 78-21 and perhaps uniquely had the support of five different home-state Senators during her confirmation process (Jeff Flake, John McCain, Jon Kyl, Martha McSally, and Kirsten Sinema).
Kyle Duncan (48), Judge of the Fifth Circuit. Judge Duncan is a Fifth Circuit judge based in Baton Rouge. When the left complains about how President Trump doesn’t nominate “civil-rights lawyers” to the bench, they always ignore Judge Duncan, who spent many years as General Counsel at the Becket Fund, arguably the nation’s premier institution for religious-liberty impact litigation. He practiced law in all three States of the Fifth Circuit: as deputy solicitor general of Texas, as a law professor in Mississippi, and as solicitor general of Louisiana, and has considerable experience litigating some of the most sensitive and complex questions of public law.
James Ho (46), Judge of the Fifth Circuit. Prior to his time on the bench, Judge Ho was a partner at the Gibson Dunn firm in Dallas where he also volunteered with religious liberty organizations. Early in his career he served as a Chief Counsel on the Judiciary Committee, an attorney in the W. Bush Justice Department, and Solicitor General of Texas. An immigrant from the Republic of China, Judge Ho went to Stanford and then the University of Chicago for law school.
Greg Katsas (56), Judge of the D.C. Circuit. Judge Katsas is a conservative stalwart on the D.C. Circuit where he (unfortunately) dissents in favor of constitutionalist positions frequently. But sometimes not: he stopped the frivolous litigation seeking to stop Attorney General Barr’s resumption of the federal death penalty. Prior to his time on the bench, Judge Katsas was Deputy White House Counsel. Before that he was a partner at Jones Day and held numerous important positions in the W. Bush Department of Justice, including Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division and Acting Associate Attorney General. Judge Katsas is Eastern Orthodox.
Barbara Lagoa (52), Judge of the Eleventh Circuit. Judge Lagoa previously served as a Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, appointed by Ron DeSantis, and a state appellate judge, appointed by Jeb Bush. Earlier in her career she was an AUSA in Miami and in private practice, where she represented the Miami family of Elian Gonzalez from whom the Clintons separated him in order to return him to communism.
Carlos Muniz (51), Justice of the Florida Supreme Court. Justice Muñiz previously served as the General Counsel to the Department of Education under President Trump, Chief of Staff to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, and Deputy General Counsel to Florida Governor Jeb Bush, among many other prestigious legal jobs.
Martha Pacold (41), Judge of the Northern District of Illinois. Judge Pacold previously served as Deputy General Counsel in the Treasury Department under President Trump and was a partner before that at Bartlit Beck.
Peter Phipps (47), Judge of the Third Circuit. Judge Phipps previously served as a career trial attorney in the Department of Justice’s Federal Programs Branch, during which time he won the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award for his defense of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act.
Sarah Pitlyk (43), Judge of the Eastern District of Missouri. Judge Pitlyk is an Eastern District of Missouri Judge in St. Louis and is a pro-life hero. Prior to her confirmation, Judge Pitlyk practiced trial and appellate litigation for the Thomas More Society, a public interest law firm. There she primarily engaged in civil matters, with a special focus on cases involving constitutional rights protected by the First Amendment.
Allison Jones Rushing (38), Judge of the Fourth Circuit. Part of the embattled conservative minority on that court, she has signed on to many of Judge Richardson’s excellent dissents.
Lawrence VanDyke (47), Judge of the Ninth Circuit. Prior to his service at DOJ, Judge VanDyke was the first individual to ever serve as Solicitor General of two different states—Nevada and Montana. He also served as an Assistant Solicitor General in Texas and an associate at Gibson Dunn.
In addition to the outstanding judges, President Trump added 6 lawyers to his list:
Daniel Cameron (34), Attorney General of Kentucky. Attorney General Cameron is the first African American elected to a standalone statewide office in Kentucky’s history. Before becoming Attorney General, Cameron served as counsel to Majority Leader McConnell and practiced law at Frost Brown Todd.
Paul Clement (54), Partner, Kirkland & Ellis. Clement served as the 43rd Solicitor General of the United States under President George W. Bush. With over 100 arguments before the Supreme Court, Clement has argued more Supreme Court cases since 2000 than any lawyer in or out of government. He is widely considered the greatest oral advocate since John Roberts.
Steve Engel (46), Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel. Engel is the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel. Engel previously served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel under President George W. Bush.
Noel Francisco (51), Partner, Jones Day. Francisco served as Solicitor General of the United States from 2017 to 2020, the first Asian American to hold the position. Francisco has worked in private practice and served in George W. Bush’s Administration, where Francisco was in the White House Counsel’s Office, and then the Office of Legal Counsel.
Chris Landau (56), United States Ambassador to Mexico. Born in Madrid, Spain, Ambassador Landau has served as United States Ambassador to Mexico since 2019. Ambassador Landau chaired Kirkland & Ellis’s appellate practice for 25 years before joining Quinn Emmanuel in 2018.
Kate Todd (45), Deputy White House Counsel. Todd is Deputy White House Counsel where she has been instrumental in supporting President Trump’s efforts to reshape the judiciary. She previously served as Senior Vice President & Chief Counsel of the Chamber of Commerce’s U.S. Chamber Litigation Center and also served in George W. Bush’s White House Counsel’s Office. Todd was also a partner at Wiley Rein.
These distinguished Senators, Judges and lawyers were added to an already amazing list.
- Steven Colloton (57), Judge of the Eighth Circuit in Iowa, appointed by George W. Bush
- Allison Eid (55), Judge of the Tenth Circuit in Colorado
- Raymond Gruender (57), Judge of the Eighth Circuit in Missouri, appointed by George W. Bush
- Tom Hardiman (55), Judge of the Third Circuit in Pennsylvania, appointed by George W. Bush
- Raymond Kethledge (53), Judge of the Sixth Circuit in Michigan, appointed by George W. Bush
- Joan Larsen (51), Judge of the Sixth Circuit in Michigan, appointed by Donald Trump
- Thomas Lee (55), Justice of the Utah Supreme Court, appointed by Gary Herbert
- William Pryor (58), Chief Judge of Eleventh Circuit in Alabama
- David Stras (46), Judge of the Eighth Circuit in Minnesota, appointed by Donald Trump
- Diane Sykes (62), now Chief Judge of the Seventh Circuit in Wisconsin, appointed by George W. Bush
- Don Willett (54), Judge of the Fifth Circuit in Texas, appointed by Donald Trump
- Keith Blackwell (45), Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, appointed by Nathan Deal
- Charles Canady (66), Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, appointed by Charlie Crist
- Mike Lee (49), U.S. Senator (R-UT)
- Edward Mansfield (63), Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court, appointed by Terry Branstad
- Federico Moreno (68), Judge of the Southern District of Florida, appointed by George H.W. Bush
- Meg Ryan (56), Judge of the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, appointed by George W. Bush
- Amul Thapar (51), Judge of the Sixth Circuit in Kentucky, appointed by Donald Trump, formerly Judge of the Eastern District of Kentucky, appointed by George W. Bush
- Timothy Tymkovich (63), Chief Judge of the Tenth Circuit in Colorado, appointed by George W. Bush
- Robert Young (69), former Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, appointed by John Engler
- Amy Barrett (47), Judge of the Seventh Circuit in Indiana, appointed by Donald Trump
- Britt Grant (42), Judge of the Eleventh Circuit in Georgia, appointed by Donald Trump, formerly Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, appointed by Nathan Deal
- Kevin Newsom (47), Judge of the Eleventh Circuit in Alabama, appointed by Donald Trump
- Patrick Wyrick (39), Judge of the Western District of Oklahoma, appointed by Donald Trump, formerly Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, appointed by Mary Fallin
I guess it is understandable that Vice President Biden won’t release his own list. It could never compare to President Trump’s list.