The Front-Runners and Full List of Potential Supreme Court Nominees


Brett M. Kavanaugh, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Even before Justice Gorsuch was confirmed, White House officials were already signaling their interest in Judge Kavanaugh for a future opening on the Supreme Court, should it occur. Mr. Trump did not include Judge Kavanaugh on his original list of potential nominees, but added him to a revised list released last fall. A former prosecutor under the independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr, Judge Kavanaugh was appointed to the court by President George W. Bush in 2006 and had a difficult road to confirmation. As a White House adviser, he helped Mr. Bush fill the nation’s courts with conservatives. “Mr. Kavanaugh would probably win first prize as the hard right’s political lawyer,” Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, said at the time.

Joan L. Larsen, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

A former Michigan state Supreme Court justice, Judge Larsen was confirmed last year to the federal bench. During her confirmation process, she was criticized by civil rights groups for her past rulings and writings on gay rights. Judge Larsen clerked for former Justice Antonin Scalia and has praised his by-the-letter reading of the Constitution and the law. A former law professor at the University of Michigan, Judge Larsen said at her confirmation hearing last year that she would be an independent-minded jurist. “If someone believes I’ve passed some litmus test, I honestly don’t know how they came to that conclusion,” she said.

Amy Coney Barrett, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Judge Barrett became something of a hero to religious conservatives last year when Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, questioned what influence the jurist’s Roman Catholic faith would have on her rulings from the bench. She was questioned in particular about a 1998 article in which she argued that Catholic judges should sometimes recuse themselves from sentencing in death penalty cases. At her confirmation hearing, she backed away from that position. A former law clerk to Justice Scalia, she served for 15 years as a law professor at the University of Notre Dame.


Trump’s Supreme Court List

Issued Nov. 17, 2017 by the White House

Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Keith Blackwell of Georgia, Supreme Court of Georgia

Charles Canady of Florida, Supreme Court of Florida

Steven Colloton of Iowa, United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Allison Eid of Colorado, United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit


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