The president’s announcement reprised a strategy that many credit with bringing skeptical social conservatives into the fold in 2016.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday added 20 names to his existing list of 25 potential picks to fill a future Supreme Court vacancy, including Republican Sens. Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton and Josh Hawley. By doing so, Trump reprised a strategy that many credit with bringing skeptical social conservatives into the fold in 2016 and paving the way for his upset victory over Hillary Clinton.
Calling the appointment of Supreme Court justices “the most important decision a president can make,” the president cast the decision to release his potential picks up front as an obligation White House hopefuls have to their voters, though he was the first candidate to do so, in 2016.
The rest of Trump’s list includes Bridget Bade, a judge on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron; Paul Clement, a former U.S. solicitor general; Stuart Kyle Duncan, a judge on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; Steven Engel, who heads the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice; Noel Francisco, a former solicitor general; James Ho, a judge on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; Gregory Katsas, a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals; Barbara Lagoa, a judge on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; Christopher Landau, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico; Carlos Muñiz, a justice on the Florida Supreme Court; Martha Pacold, a judge for the Northern District of Illinois; Peter Phipps, a judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; Sarah Pitlyk, a judge for the Eastern District of Missouri; Allison Jones Rushing, a judge on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; Kate Todd, a deputy White House counsel; and Lawrence VanDyke, a judge on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Cruz (R-Texas), Hawley (R-Mo.) and Cotton (R-Ark.), all of whom were vocal critics of Trump‘s high-profile Supreme Court losses this summer, join one other hardline conservative, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, on Trump’s most recent list.
But while Cruz and Cotton quickly issued statements thanking Trump for the honor of being named to the not-so-shortlist, Hawley said that he had declined the offer from the president and White House multiple times.
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