Donald Trump on Wednesday unveiled a list of 11 judges he would consider nominating to fill the seat of late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.
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.
In a statement, Trump said he planned to use the list “as a guide to nominate our next United States Supreme Court Justices” and said his list of potential nominees is “representative of the kind of constitutional principles I value.”
Trump has said for several months he would release a list of potential Supreme Court nominees amid concerns in some circles that he would not make a sufficiently conservative pick.
Five of the 11 names were floated in March by the conservative Heritage Foundation, which Trump said was assisting him in compiling a list of potential nominees.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said shortly after the list was released that the names wouldn’t be described by any Democrats as “consensus” candidates. He noted that was the description Republicans used for Merrick Garland, whom President Barack Obama nominated to fill Scalia’s seat. Senate Republicans have vowed to not hold a vote on Garland, citing the upcoming presidential election and the opportunity for the next president to make the selection.
“I would be surprised if there are any Democrats who would describe any of those 11 individuals as a consensus nominee,” Earnest said.
Even if Scalia’s seat is filled before Obama leaves office, the next president will likely get the opportunity to nominate at least one justice to the Supreme Court as several justices are nearing retirement, potentially shifting the balance of power in the highest federal court in the country for decades to come.