Trump Adds 20 Distinguished Names to List of Potential Supreme Court Nominees

This afternoon, President Trump announced 20 additional distinguished attorneys and judges to the list of nominees he would consider for any future Supreme Court vacancy.  Polling showed that then-candidate Trump's list in 2016 was important to many voters who supported him, and he kept his promise of choosing off the list when he nominated Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Court.  Further, President Trump selected from his list for many of his highly qualified nominees to lower federal courts during his first term, providing unprecedented transparency regarding judicial nominations from a presidential candidate.

By contrast, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has not released a list, nor has he indicated that he will release one, leaving voters to wonder whom he would consider for any Supreme Court vacancy.  Would a President Biden choose off the troubling Demand Justice list or the secret Alliance for Justice list?  Both possibilities should terrify any American who values the rule of law.

As President Trump said when announcing his additions:

By the end of my first term, we will have confirmed a record number of federal judges, over 300, all of whom will faithfully uphold our Constitution as written. What has always made America exceptional is our reference for the impartial rule of law. People have come from all over the world to pursue the American dream based on this sacred principle. Equality under the law is the bedrock of our society. It is the principle that inspired American heroes to abolish slavery, end segregation, secure civil rights and build the most free and just nation in history.

Unfortunately, there is a growing radical left movement that rejects the principle of equal treatment under the law, and if this extreme movement is granted a majority on the Supreme Court, it will fundamentally transform America without a single vote of Congress. . . . In the recent past, many of our most treasured freedoms including religious liberty, free speech, and the right to keep and bear arms have been saved by a single vote on the United States Supreme Court. . . .

Over the next four years, America's President will choose hundreds of federal judges and in all likelihood, one, two, three, and even four Supreme Court justices. The outcome of these decisions will determine whether we hold fast to our nation's founding principles or whether they are lost forever. 

The names added today are:

  • Ninth Circuit Judge Bridget Bade
  • Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron
  • Senator Tom Cotton
  • Former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement
  • Senator Ted Cruz
  • Fifth Circuit Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan
  • Steven Engel, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice
  • Former U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco
  • Senator Josh Hawley
  • Fifth Circuit Judge (and former RNLA member) James Ho
  • D.C. Circuit Judge Gregory Katsas
  • Eleventh Circuit Judge Barbara Lagoa
  • Ambassador Christopher Landau
  • Florida Supreme Court Justice Carlos Muñiz
  • Northern District of Illinois Judge Martha Pacold
  • Third Circuit Judge Peter Phipps
  • Eastern District of Missouri Judge Sarah Pitlyk
  • Fourth Circuit Judge Allison Jones Rushing
  • Kate Todd, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel to the President
  • Ninth Circuit Judge Lawrence VanDyke

These attorneys represent some of the most distinguished members of the legal profession and have demonstrated their commitment to the rule of law and the highest standards of ethical conduct.  Legal leaders of President Trump's campaign praised the list (emphasis added):

“This list reflects President Trump’s commitment to the American people to promote judges who respect our national sovereignty and upholds the President’s right to defend our borders,” said Justin Clark, Trump 2020 deputy campaign manager. “These names reflect President Trump’s deep commitment to protecting our constitutional rights - especially our 2nd Amendment rights which are under assault from the Biden-Harris wing of the Democrat party.”

“In only four years President Trump has transformed the federal judiciary, and this list again demonstrates his commitment to those who want confidence that the Supreme Court will uphold our God-given liberties,” said Matt Morgan, Trump 2020 general counsel.  “The President is doubling down on his pledge to appoint justices who demonstrate a faithful commitment to the Constitution and the rule of law, thereby ensuring proper limits on the size of government and ending regulatory overreach.”   

Carrie Severino summarized the situation well:



Thank you, President Trump, for recognizing the vital importance of judges who respect the rule of the law and the importance of interpreting the Constitution and laws as written, not of legislating from the bench, and for continuing your unprecedented transparency with the American people by expanding your list of potential Supreme Court nominees.