2016/05/18

Trump candidates for Supreme Court

Today presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump released a list of eleven candidates for the U.S. Supreme Court. I list them here with links to more information about them and my brief comments on their fitness.


  1. Steven Colloton -- Iowa. Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.  Professor  at U. Minnesota School of Law, specializing on constitutional law. Clerked for SC Justice Clarence Thomas.
  2. Allison Eid -- Colorado. Justice, Colorado Supreme Court. Professor U. Colorado Law School, specializing on constitutional law. Clerked for SC Justice Clarence Thomas.
  3. Raymond Gruender -- Missouri. Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. 
  4. Thomas Hardiman --  Pennsylvania. Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. One good decision: Dissented from the court's decision to uphold under the Second Amendment a New Jersey law requiring residents to make a showing of "justifiable need" to receive a license to carry a handgun in public. Bad decision: held that a police officer was immune from suit because there is no clearly established First Amendment right to videotape police officers during traffic stops. The right is a Ninth Amendment right to supervise public servants.
  5. Raymond Kethledge -- Michigan. Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  Clerked for United States Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
  6. Joan Larsen -- Michigan. Associate Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. Clerked
  7. Thomas Lee - Utah. Associate Justice of the Utah Supreme Court. Pioneer in the application of corpus linguistics to determine ordinary meaning, being the first American judge to do so in an opinion.  Clerked for SC Justice Clarence Thomas.
  8. William Pryor -- Alabama. Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Said that Roe v. Wade was the "worst abomination in the history of constitutional law." Some controversial opinions in civil rights cases. Many pro-government decisions.
  9. David Stras -- Minnesota. Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. Clerked for SC Justice Clarence Thomas.
  10. Diane Sykes -- Wisconsin. Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, formerly Judge on Wisconsin Supreme court. Strong supporter of Second Amendment.
  11. Don Willett -- Texas. Justice Texas Supreme Court. Drafted the first two executive orders of the Bush presidency. 
Of these the only one I have met personally id Don Willett. He is a bright, personable guy with a good sense of humor, which could be a goo thing on the Supreme Court, where Justice Scalia was famous for his wit. He is also active on Twitter, with some critical tweets on Trump.

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