Less than two weeks before the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, President Trump revealed his list of Supreme Court possibilities as an act of transparency before the November election. Read about that announcement BELOW:
President Trump has announced a list of 20 possible U.S. Supreme Court nominees, and he surprised many by putting three senators on his new list – a move that might be a helpful strategy with Senate Democrats in getting a potential nominee confirmed.
“It’s a little bit harder for the Democrats to oppose one of their colleagues," said Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice. "I’m not saying that they wouldn’t do it, but I think it’s a little bit harder, really on either side of the aisle, to demonize someone who you’ve worked with for the last number of years.”
Trump named Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), and Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) – all solid conservatives sure to raise the hackles of liberals who've generally been unhappy with the conservative bent of Trump's judicial nominees for the last four years.
LISTEN to CBN PODCAST: Ted Cruz to the Supreme Court? President Trump's Eye-Opening List of Nominees
John Malcolm at the Heritage Foundation has handed the White House his own list of possible Supreme Court nominees, several who have made it to Trump’s. When it comes to the three senators on the new list, Malcolm asserted Senate experience doesn’t mean a lack of judicial experience. He pointed out, “Both Senator Hawley and Cruz clerked for Supreme Court justices. Senator Cruz has argued several times in front of the United States Supreme Court. So I certainly think that they’re qualified.”
Another pick likely to earn liberals' ire is 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan, who worked for years advocating for the pro-life and religious freedom causes while at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.
9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Lawrence Van Dyke is another controversial name on Trump's new list. He was branded by some liberals as a homophobic opponent of abortion rights, gun control, and environmental protections after Trump nominated him to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Pro-life groups, though, were quick to praise the list and those on it.
"President Trump's latest Supreme Court list is filled with all-stars," stated Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. "The list reflects the president's firm and proven commitment to only nominating Supreme Court justices who will respect the Constitution and the inalienable right to life."
Alliance Defending Freedom President Michael Farris stated, "Any judge or justice should interpret the Constitution faithfully, which means protecting the right to life and the right to peacefully speak, live, and work consistent with one's religious beliefs. The president has promised to appoint justices committed to doing just that."
BELOW: President Trump's remarks on judicial appointments, including his list of potential Supreme Court nominees. Watch the President's remarks beginning at 17:50 into the video.
One of Trump's Greatest Accomplishments?
Also praising Trump's picks was March for Life President Jeanne Mancini. She stated, "One of President Trump's greatest accomplishments has been the restoration of the judicial system through the appointment of judges who respect life and the US Constitution."
Mancini added, "We anticipate that process will continue in a second term and look forward to the day that courts recognize the inherent dignity of all human life."
"President Trump continues to keep his promise to transform the federal judiciary, and his newest list of potential Supreme Court picks is further evidence of this," said Maureen Ferguson at The Catholic Association. "In releasing this expanded list, he brings transparency and clarity to the American voters who care about the rule of law and the defense of our constitutional rights."
And Levey believes those on the list generally are tried-and-true believers in sticking to the original meaning of the Constitution no matter what, whether it's popular or not, and unlike what happened sometimes this last term.
“Especially after the last Supreme Court, I think conservatives are also looking for someone who has a track record of following those principles even when it’s going to anger the media, cultural and academic elites of our nation," Levey stated.
Not Everyone Likes the List
Left-leaning groups like The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights blasted Trump's new list shortly after he released it.
Vanita Gupta, president of that group, said, "Trump's new Supreme Court shortlist is no different than his old one. Everyone on this list has passed Trump's shameful litmus tests with demonstrated records against health care, women, LGBTQ people, people of color, and immigrants.
She continued, "Trump has threatened our country's values and people with his intention to nominate more individuals who would decimate the Affordable Care Act and eviscerate Roe v. Wade. And his previous picks for the Supreme Court have confirmed our fears with their opinions on these important issues.
Where's Biden's List?
Trump blasted Joe Biden for not producing his own list, but conjectured Biden's not doing it for fear it'll cause him trouble with a majority of the American people.
“Because he knows the names are so extremely Far Left that they could never withstand public scrutiny or receive acceptance," Trump charged.
The president then described his view of what kind of Supreme Court Joe Biden would build, saying, “It’ll fundamentally transform America without a single vote of Congress. Radical justices will erase the 2nd Amendment, silence political speech and require taxpayers to fund extreme late-term abortion.”
The Catholic Association's Ferguson stated after Trump released his list, "Voters are left to wonder why Joe Biden won't treat them with the same respect and release a list of his own."
SBA List's Dannenfelser suspects that's because, as she put it, "In contrast to President Trump, Joe Biden will only nominate Supreme Court justices who will uphold the Roe regime that allows for abortion on demand through birth."
So could releasing his own list lose Biden more votes than it would get him?
The Heritage Foundation's Malcolm said with a smile, “I think that that is something that has probably crossed Joe Biden’s mind. I know it has crossed Donald Trump’s mind.”
Levey added that since the last presidential election, “The Democratic base if not the whole party has shifted so much to the Left in that time, that I think the type of people that the base would demand would be on that list would be so radical, that it would scare away swing voters. And if Biden’s going to have a chance in November, he needs those swing voters.”
Malcolm said of Biden and his unseen list, “He’s being a little bit coy on the issue. We’ll see now whether President Trump flushes Joe Biden out on this.”
Biden's Connection to the 'Politics of Personal Destruction'
But Levey pointed out another reason Biden might not want the whole business of selecting justices and judges to be brought up much before the election.
He told CBN News, "It reminds people of what he did when he was in charge of Supreme Court nominations in the sense of being chair of the (Senate) Judiciary Committee. There was shameful treatment of Robert Bork, of Clarence Thomas. That shameful treatment set the stage for the highly partisan, very divisive confirmation process that we have today."
Levey concluded, "So here's a guy, Biden, trying to portray himself as a uniter. I don't think he wants to remind people that he may be responsible more than anyone else for how divisive the judicial nomination process and perhaps politics in general have become."
May be #1 Issue for Some 2020 Voters; Certainly was in 2016
So does all this matter to voters? In 2016, exit polling showed that out of the dozens of issues and concerns to pick from, a stunning 21 percent of those who voted for president said the Supreme Court was the number one factor in their choosing who to vote for. And among those people, a solid 56 percent of them voted for Donald Trump.
*** This story was first published on September 9, 2020