Donald Trump often has two words for leery Republicans who still won’t support his candidacy: Supreme Court.
As in, who gets appointed to fulfill vacancies, including the opening created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Trump, who earlier this year released a wish list of what he said were his choices for the nation’s highest court, expanded the list Friday with 10 more names. Trump’s latest picks include a number of judges from swing states that could play pivotal roles in the November election, including two Florida-based judges.
One potential appointee quickly took his name out of the running.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who served as a Supreme Court clerk for Justice Alito, said thanks, but no thanks. His spokesman told Politico the junior senator - a close ally to Trump’s Republican primary rival Sen. Ted Cruz - “already has the job he wants.”
The other nine named include Keith Blackwell, a George Supreme Court justice; Charles Canady, a Florida Supreme Court justice; Neil Gorsuch, a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit; Edward Mansfield, an Iowa Supreme Court justice; Federico Moreno, a United States District Court judge for the Southern District of Florida; Margaret A. Ryan, a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces; Amul Thapar, a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Timothy Tymkovich, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and Robert Young, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Michigan.
“I will appoint justices, who like Justice Scalia, will protect our liberty with the highest regard for the Constitution,” Trump said in a release, noting that list was “definitive” and had been compiled with the help of the Federalist Society and The Heritage Foundation, among others.