(FreedomJournal.org)- On Wednesday, President Donald Trump released a list of 20 potential Supreme Court nominees if he were to get re-elected to a second term or if an opening popped up before the end of his first.
Trump has kept an ongoing list of potential nominees to the country’s highest court, and these 20 that he released Wednesday will be added to that list. Among the new nominees are three current United States Senators — Ted Cruz from Texas, Josh Hawley from Missouri and Tom Cotton from Arkansas.
Trump has long touted the role of nominating Supreme Court justices as one of the most important duties a president has. He has also used it as a rallying cry for his supporters who are hoping for a more conservative lean from the court.
Trump said appointing justices to the court is “the most important decision an American president can make.”
If he were to be re-elected in November, Trump said it’s possible he could be asked to name up to four new justices to the Supreme Court.
“For this reason, candidates for president owe the American people a specific list of individuals they consider for the United States Supreme Court,” Trump said Wednesday.
Other people who made the list are Noel Francisco, the former solicitor general who has argued in front of the Supreme Court on behalf of the Trump administration; Paul Clement, who served as solicitor general under former President George W. Bush; Amy Coney Barrett, who is a judge on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; and Thomas Hardiman, a judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Both Hardiman and Barrett were considered as candidates in 2018 to fill the seat of Anthony Kennedy following his retirement. That position ultimately wound up going to Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
There are no vacancies on the Supreme Court as of this moment. The widely-held belief is that the next president will appoint at least one person to the court, though.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 87 years old and has undergone some recently health issues. Stephen Breyer is 82 years old, and Clarence Thomas is 72 years old. One or all three of the justices could theoretically choose to retire, though none of them have indicated definitive plans to do so.
Both Ginsburg and Breyer are liberal justices who were appointed by former Democratic President Bill Clinton, while Thomas was appointed by former Republican President George H.W. Bush.
The current make-up of the Supreme Court is five conservative justices to four liberal justices. This makes the next appointee so crucial — especially if Thomas were to be the next one to step aside.
It’s one of the main reasons why Trump is using his list of potential nominees, and the potential vacancies in general, as a rallying cry for conservative voters. He has warned that Democratic candidate Joe Biden hasn’t published his own list of potential nominees because they’d be “so far left they could never withstand public scrutiny.”