President Trump on Wednesday released a new list of Supreme Court candidates for a potential future vacancy and urged Democrat Joe Biden to do the same, saying Americans deserve the information about judicial nominations so they can “properly make a decision as to how they will vote.”
The list of 20 names includes such notables as former Solicitor General Paul Clement and U.S. Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.), Josh Hawley (Mo.) and Ted Cruz (Texas). Trump said any future vacancy would be filled by names on either the new list or the original list he released during his 2016 campaign.
“Apart from matters of war and peace, the nomination of a Supreme Court justice is the most important decision an American president can make,” he said. “For this reason, candidates for president owe the American people a specific list of the individuals they consider for the United States Supreme Court.”
Trump warned of a “growing radical left movement” that “rejects the principle of equal treatment under law.”
“If this extreme movement is granted a majority on the Supreme Court, it will fundamentally transform America without a single vote of Congress,” he said. “Radical justices will erase the Second Amendment, silence political speech and require taxpayers to fund extreme late-term abortion. They will give unelected bureaucrats that power to destroy millions of American jobs. They will remove the words ‘under God’ from the Pledge of Allegiance. They will unilaterally declare the death penalty unconstitutional, even for the most depraved mass murderers. They will erase national borders, cripple police departments and grant new protections to anarchists, rioters, violent criminals and terrorists.”
The winner of November’s election, he said, “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,” he said. “... Joe Biden has refused to release his list, perhaps because he knows the names are so extremely far left that they could never withstand public scrutiny or receive acceptance. He must release a list of justices for people to properly make a decision as to how they will vote. It is very important that he do so.”
Religious liberty advocates and conservatives applauded Trump’s list.
“There are few issues of greater importance in the upcoming election than that of potential nominations to the Supreme Court of the United States,” said Kelly Shackelford, president of First Liberty Institute. “President Trump’s record on judicial nominations during his first term has been nothing short of astounding, with a record number of judges dedicated to originalist Constitutional principles nominated and confirmed to the federal judiciary. His list today continues to fulfill his promise to nominate excellent judges who are committed to protecting the freedom of all Americans.”
Following is the list as supplied by the White House:
- Bridget Bade of Arizona, judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Daniel Cameron of Kentucky, attorney general of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
- Paul Clement of Virginia, former solicitor general of the United States.
- Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas.
- Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
- Stuart Kyle Duncan of Louisiana, judge on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Steven Engel of the District of Columbia, assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice.
- Noel Francisco, former solicitor general of the United States.
- Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri.
- James Ho of Texas, judge on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Gregory Katsas of Virginia, judge on the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Barbara Lagoa of Florida, judge on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Christopher Landau of Maryland, United States Ambassador to Mexico.
- Carlos Muñiz of Florida, justice on the Supreme Court of Florida.
- Martha Pacold of Illinois, judge on the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
- Peter Phipps of Pennsylvania, judge on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Sarah Pitlyk of Missouri, judge on the District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
- Allison Jones Rushing of North Carolina, judge on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Kate Todd of Virginia, deputy assistant to the president and deputy counsel to the president.
- Lawrence VanDyke of Nevada, judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The individuals on the list, Trump said, “will ensure equal justice, equal treatment and equal rights for citizens of every race, color, religion and creed.”
“Together, we will defend our righteous heritage and preserve our magnificent American way of life,” he said.
Photo courtesy: The White House
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.