07:54 GMT29 February 2020
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    Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee for the 2016 US presidential election, released a list of potential Supreme Court appointees on Wednesday, partly to rally the support of a Republican party still unconvinced of his legitimacy.

    Some Republicans have publicly burned their voter registration cards and threatened to change their party affiliation in light of Trump’s seemingly inevitably nomination. 

    Several vacancies on the US Supreme Court may be filled by the next president, and Trump seeks to silence speculation that his appointees will not be sufficiently conservative.

    The candidate, at a campaign event in Palm Beach, Florida, said, "I am going to give a list of either five or 10 judges that I will pick, 100 percent pick, that I will put in for nomination. Because some of the people that are against me say: 'We don't know if he's going to pick the right judge. Supposing he picks a liberal judge or supposing he picks a pro-choice judge.'" 

    Trump added that his nominations would be people "that everybody respects, likes and totally admires. Great conservative judges, great intellects, the people that you want."

    Trump reportedly accepted nomination suggestions from conservative groups including  The Heritage Foundation, Republican members of the House of Representatives and The Federalist Society, a legal group. 

    The Trump campaign claimed the list was drafted "first and foremost, based on constitutional principles, with input from highly respected conservatives and Republican Party leadership."

    The list features several state Supreme Court justices such as Allison H. Eid of Colorado; Joan Larsen of Michigan; Thomas Lee of Utah; David Stras of Minnesota; and Don Willett of Texas; as well as several federal judges: Steven M. Colloton of Iowa; Raymond W. Gruender of Missouri; Thomas M. Hardiman of Pennsylvania; William H. Pryor Jr. of Alabama, Diane Sykes of Wisconsin; and Raymond M. Kethledge of Michigan.

    Interestingly, all 11 of these judges are affiliated with the Federalist Society, with their number featuring only three women and no people of color.

    Notably, Sykes, the former wife of radio host Charles Sykes, is a vocal member of the "Never Trump" movement, a group of nearly 40,000 conservatives who have vowed not to vote for the New York billionaire.

    Willet once tweeted, "Can't wait till Trump rips off his face Mission Impossible-style & reveals a laughing Ruth Bader Ginsburg."

    Hardiman, Kethledge, Sykes Colloton  and Gruender are George Bush appellate court appointees. 

    Trump said in a statement that the list "is representative of the kind of constitutional principles I value and, as president, I plan to use this list as a guide." He also specifically chose people he felt would be restrictive on reproductive rights, an issue that Trump has been liberal on in the past.

    Nan Aron, who head the liberal advocacy group Alliance for Justice, believes that, if appointed, the judges on Trump’s list will result in draconian rulings "Taken together, the records of these potential Trump nominees reflect a radical-right ideology that threatens fundamental rights and that favors the powerful over everyone else."

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    US Supreme Court, elections, Republican Party, Supreme Court, Donald Trump, United States
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