Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Trump’s Supreme Court Candidates

Just a reminder of the folks whom President-elect Donald Trump has identified as possible candidates for a Supreme Court nomination.

In May, Trump issued a list of eleven names—a list that he said was “representative of the kind of constitutional principles I value” and was something he would “use … as a guide.” These were the names on that list:

Steven Colloton, Eighth Circuit

Allison Eid, Colorado supreme court

Raymond Gruender, Eighth Circuit

Thomas Hardiman, Third Circuit

Raymond Kethledge, Sixth Circuit

Joan Larsen, Michigan supreme court

Thomas Lee, Utah supreme court

William Pryor, Eleventh Circuit

David Stras, Minnesota supreme court

Diane Sykes, Seventh Circuit

Don Willett, Texas supreme court

In September, Trump added ten more names to his list, in this (un-alphabetical) order:

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah

Neil Gorsuch, Tenth Circuit

Margaret Ryan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

Edward Mansfield, Iowa supreme court

Keith Blackwell, Georgia supreme court

Charles Canady, Florida supreme court

Timothy Tymkovich, Tenth Circuit

Amul Thapar, Eastern District of Kentucky

Federico Moreno, Southern District of Florida

Robert Young, Michigan supreme court

Whether Trump now commits to pick his nominees from the full list of 21 or instead to “use [the list] as a guide” is unclear to me. I assume that the list does not have an unlimited shelf life. On issuing this supplement, Trump said that the combined list “is definitive and I will choose only from it in picking future justices of the United States Supreme Court.”

For what it’s worth, the list includes plenty of folks of whom I think very highly and others I’m not familiar with. There are also some folks not on the list who would be high on my own list.


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