President Donald Trump dropped a list on Wednesday of 20 more individuals he’d consider nominating to the Supreme Court.
According to The Hill, Trump revealed a similar list during his 2016 White House bid to reassure conservatives that he’d put constitutionalists on the high court, if given the chance. Adding to some 25 names previously floated by the president, the new list of 20 includes Republicans like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, and Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton.
Also making the list is Noel Francisco, who served as the Trump administration’s solicitor general from September 2017 until June of this year.
“Our nation’s founding principles”
The issue of the Supreme Court — and the nation’s judicial system as a whole — is of prime importance to conservatives who want to see that America’s founding values are held for decades to come. It was a message President Trump played up in remarks to reporters at the White House on Wednesday.
“Over the next four years, America’s president will choose hundreds of federal judges and in all likelihood, one, two three and even four Supreme Court justices,” Trump said, according to The Hill. “The outcome of these decisions will determine whether we hold fast to our nation’s founding principles or whether they are lost forever.”
Trump and the judiciary
Trump has already appointed more than 200 federal judges over the course of his first term, including two Supreme Court justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Pew Research reports that 24% of federal judges currently on the bench were appointed by Trump.
By comparison, appointments made by President Barack Obama over the course of both his terms combined account for 39% of those presently on the federal bench, according to Pew.
If he wins in November, Trump could get the chance to add the confirmation of yet another SCOTUS justice to his list of accomplishments. Speculation has long swirled over possible coming retirements from Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, who have each been serving on the high court for more than two decades.
Ginsburg, who is 87, has a history of health problems including bouts of colon, pancreatic, liver, and lung cancer, which was discovered as a result of a fall in 2018 that left her with cracked ribs. Breyer, meanwhile, just turned 82 last month.
Hawley on the high court?
But if Trump does get the chance to appoint a new Supreme Court justice, he may have one less name to choose from than planned: following the release of Trump’s list on Wednesday, Sen. Hawley made clear that he’d prefer to keep working on Capitol Hill.
“I appreciate the President’s confidence in listing me as a potential Supreme Court nominee,” the Missouri senator tweeted. “But as I told the President, Missourians elected me to fight for them in the Senate, and I have no interest in the high court.”
Hawley said he looks “forward to confirming” more “constitutional conservatives” as a senator.