Following a handful of recent Supreme Court rulings that did not go his way, President Donald Trump was not shy about expressing his displeasure with the high court. Now, he’s making sure the justices on the bench know he’s ready to replace them if the opportunity arises.
According to the Washington Examiner, Trump just announced that he will soon release a new list of potential nominees to the high court. Trump will draw from the list if another SCOTUS vacancy opens up during his presidency.
Another list coming
The president announced his list of replacement justices in a Twitter post on Thursday. In a subsequent tweet, Trump indicated that his final decision, should a spot open up, would be made with high regard to issues like the Second Amendment and religious liberty.
…Based on decisions being rendered now, this list is more important than ever before (Second Amendment, Right to Life, Religous Liberty, etc.) – VOTE 2020!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 18, 2020
According to the Examiner, Trump first released a list of potential judicial appointees ahead of the 2016 election.
At the time, that list served as a way to assuage the concerns of some conservatives about how devoted to the right-leaning ideology Trump would be once taking up residence in the White House.
President Trump’s first nomination to the high court, now-Justice Neil Gorsuch, who replaced the late Justice Antonin Scalia, was included on that 2016 list, the Examiner noted. And save for a couple of principled decisions on the plain reading of the law, that nomination has panned out fairly well.
Trump’s second appointment, now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who took over for the retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, was not included on the original list in 2016, but was added to Trump’s potential nominee roster following Gorsuch’s ascension to the high court.
Who needs replacing?
Whether this new list, set to be released ahead of the 2020 election, will have the same impact among court-watching conservatives as the 2016 list did remains to be seen.
In truth, President Trump would probably like nothing better than to have the opportunity to replace Chief Justice John Roberts with a much more reliable conservative and originalist, and not another politically-observant jurist that slides from one side to the other depending upon which way the partisan winds are blowing.
That seems highly improbable, though. The more likely situation would be a second-term Trump replacing one of the court’s eldest justices, including Democrat-appointees Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.
Either way, the ultimate goal is to shore up — and, if possible, expand — the conservative majority on the court in such a way that it won’t matter which way Roberts leans anymore. It’s time for the Supreme Court to become a reliable adjudicator of the laws as written — and Trump is doing all he can to put us on that track.