With Justice Anthony Kennedy retiring from the Supreme Court, everyone (self-included) wants to know who's on Trump's list of Supreme Court nominees. Well, all evidence shows it's pretty short. Check them out below, friends.
Kennedy announced his resignation, which he said was in efforts to spend more time with his family, on June 27, with his official departure set as July 31. The announcement gives President Donald Trump the chance to nominate a replacement for Kennedy, who will likely share his conservative views. (Not to scare you away or anything.) There are more than two dozen potential nominees, though — all of whom come from a previously released list that was first shared back in November 2017. They include:
Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; Keith Blackwell of Georgia, Supreme Court of Georgia; Charles Canady of Florida, Supreme Court of Florida; Steven Colloton of Iowa, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit; Allison Eid of Colorado, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit; Britt Grant of Georgia, Supreme Court of Georgia; Raymond Gruender of Missouri, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit; Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit; Brett Kavanaugh of Maryland, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; Raymond Kethledge of Michigan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; Joan Larsen of Michigan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; Mike Lee of Utah, United States Senator; Thomas Lee of Utah, Supreme Court of Utah; Edward Mansfield of Iowa, Supreme Court of Iowa; Federico Moreno of Florida, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida; Kevin Newsom of Alabama, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit; William Pryor of Alabama, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit; Margaret Ryan of Virginia, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces; David Stras of Minnesota, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit; Diane Sykes of Wisconsin, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; Amul Thapar of Kentucky, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; Timothy Tymkovich of Colorado, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit; Robert Young of Michigan, Supreme Court of Michigan (Ret.); Don Willett of Texas, Supreme Court of Texas; And Patrick Wyrick of Oklahoma, Supreme Court of Oklahoma.
Following Kennedy's announcement, Trump said he would be looking for his replacement "immediately," according to The Hill. But considering Trump's conservative beliefs, many fear that an appointee by him could radicalize the direction of the Supreme Court, especially when it comes to landmark cases like abortion rights case Roe v. Wade. During the presidential campaign, Trump promised to appoint Supreme Court Justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, so it's far from an idle worry.
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue issued a statement after Kennedy's resignation, expressing her fears that the Trump administration could accomplish its goal of overturning Roe v. Wade through the appointee Trump chooses.
In her statement, Hogue said:
Today, Justice Kennedy announced his retirement, and because President Trump will nominate the next Supreme Court Justice, a woman’s constitutional right to access legal abortion is in dire, immediate danger—along with the fundamental rights of all Americans. We also know that for decades, a multi-million-dollar, extreme, anti-choice movement has quietly and aggressively chipped away at that right in state legislatures, in lower courts, and now from within the Trump administration. Their stated goal, clearly and loudly, is overturning Roe v. Wade.
Our country faces a moment of deep crisis—a crisis of rights, of values, and of leadership. The deeply-divided decisions from the Supreme Court this week are a clear warning that our most cherished values are in jeopardy, and now hang in the balance. Women will not go back to the days when abortion was illegal in this country.
It's a pretty horrifying thought for some, however, the decision isn't totally up to Trump. After he makes his nomination, they'll have to be approved by a majority of members in the Senate — which was the case when Trump nominated conservative judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court in January 2017, just days after his inauguration. Additionally, according to the Associated Press, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said his chamber won't vote on Trump's nominee until the fall. And already, Democrats are calling to wait on confirmation of any nominee until after the 2018 midterms, echoing what McConnell said about President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland in 2016 (the seat eventually went to Gorsuch). So, on the bright side of things, that at least gives us time to brace ourselves of what's to come.
Anything can happen, so let's just keep our fingers crossed, guys.