President Donald Trump added five names to his list of possible Supreme Court nominees Friday, as loyalists of the conservative Federalist Society gather in Washington to celebrate the confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch and a bevy of lower court nominees.
The White House said the president will pick his next nominee to the high court from a list of 25 contenders. That list includes 20 possible candidates first identified during the 2016 presidential campaign, and five additional contenders named Friday.
The five new contenders are Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Justice Britt Grant of the Georgia Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the D.C. Circuit, Judge Kevin Newsom of the 11th Circuit, and Justice Patrick Wyrick of the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
Barrett and Newsom are among the half-dozen appeals court judges President Trump has appointed during his first year.
“The president remains deeply committed to identifying and selecting outstanding jurists in the mold of Justice Gorsuch,” the White House said in a statement. “These additions, like those on the original list released more than a year ago, were selected with input from respected conservative leaders.”
Conservative court-watchers were ebullient at the news, lavishing praise on the nominees commitment to constitutional principles.
“These men and women have spent years in the trenches of state and federal government fighting for the Constitution and the rule of law,” said Carrie Severino, chief counsel of the Judicial Crisis Network, a political group that directs conservative advocacy around judicial nominations. “They represent a diverse range of backgrounds, including both state and federal judges, three who were former state solicitors general with first-hand experience protecting our constitutional balance of powers.”
It is unclear when the next vacancy might arise on the high court. None of the Court’s four Democratic-appointees have suggested they will retire in the coming years, though Justice Anthony Kennedy has signaled he may soon depart the bench.
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