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Donald Trump Releases New Supreme Court 'Short List'

Donald Trump
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump released the names of some additions to his Supreme Court "short list" on Friday. (Reuters photo)

Out of the blue, and without warning, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump released a second list of individuals he would consider as potential replacements for Associate Justice Scalia at the United States Supreme Court.

His campaign billed the list as a "final list," saying the new list "builds upon the highly praised list of choices" he named in May 2016. Trump camp insiders say those on the list were selected, primarily on "constitutional principles," with input from "respected conservative leaders."

The list, in its entirety:

  • Keith Blackwell is a justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia. He was appointed to the position in 2012. He had previously served on the Court of Appeals of Georgia. Before serving on the bench, Justice Blackwell was a Deputy Special Attorney General of the State of Georgia, an Assistant District Attorney in Cobb County, and a commercial litigator in private practice. Justice Blackwell is a graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law.
  • Charles Canady is a justice of the Supreme Court of Florida. He has served in that role since 2008, and he served as the court's chief justice from 2010 to 2012. Prior to his appointment, Justice Canady served as a judge of the Florida Second District Court of Appeal and as a member of the United States House of Representatives for four terms. Justice Canady is a graduate of Yale Law School.
  • Neil Gorsuch is a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He was appointed to the position in 2006. Judge Gorsuch previously served in the Justice Department as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General. Judge Gorsuch was a Marshall Scholar and received his law degree from Harvard. He clerked for Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy.
  • Mike Lee is the Junior U.S. Senator from Utah and currently serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He has previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Utah and as a Supreme Court Clerk for Justice Alito.
  • Edward Mansfield is a justice of the Iowa Supreme Court. He was appointed to the court in 2011 and retained by voters in 2012. Justice Mansfield previously served as a judge of the Iowa Court of Appeals. He also teaches law at Drake University as an adjunct professor. Justice Mansfield is a graduate of Yale Law School.
  • Federico Moreno is a judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida and a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States. He previously served as a state and county court judge in Florida. Judge Moreno is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law.
  • Margaret A. Ryan has been a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces since 2006. Judge Ryan served in the Marine Corps through deployments in the Philippines and the Gulf War. She then attended Notre Dame Law School through a military scholarship and served as a JAG officer for four years. Judge Ryan clerked for Judge J. Michael Luttig of the Fourth Circuit and Justice Clarence Thomas.
  • Amul Thapar is a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, serving since his appointment in 2007, when he became the first South Asian Article III judge. He has taught law students at the University of Cincinnati and Georgetown. Judge Thapar has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Washington, D.C. and the Southern District of Ohio. Immediately prior to his judicial appointment, Judge Thapar was the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Judge Thapar received his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Timothy Tymkovich is the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Judge Tymkovich was appointed to the bench in 2003. He previously served as Colorado Solicitor General. Judge Tymkovich is a graduate of the University of Colorado College of Law.
  • Robert Young is the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Michigan. He was appointed to the court in 1999, and became part of a majority of justices who embraced originalism and led what one scholar described as a "textualism revolution." Justice Young previously served as a judge on the Michigan Court of Appeals. Chief Justice Young is a graduate of Harvard Law School.

The Trump campaign made it clear these names are added to the previous list of potential Supreme Court nominees, not in place of them, to create a "definitive" list of potential federal court nominees. Trump himself commented on the new list with a statement provided by his campaign along with the new list.

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"We have a very clear choice in this election," he said. "The freedoms we cherish and the constitutional values and principles our country was founded on are in jeopardy. The responsibility is greater than ever to protect and uphold these freedoms and I will appoint justices who, like Justice Scalia, will protect our liberty with the highest regard for the Constitution.

'This list is definitive and I will choose only from it in picking future Justices of the United States Supreme Court. I would like to thank the Federalist Society, The Heritage Foundation and the many other individuals who helped in composing this list of 21 highly respected people who are the kind of scholars that we need to preserve the very core of our country, and make it greater than ever before."

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