Donald Trump's Supreme Court Nominee List

Updated on January 24, 2019
RJ Schwartz profile image

I'm on the right side of politics and enjoy a good debate on government, the economy, common sense, and the rights of the people.

Allison Eid - Colorado

Allison Hartwell Eid(born 1965) is the 95th Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court. She has served on the court since 2006. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from Stanford, served as a special assistant and speechwriter to William Bennet, Secretary of Education under President Reagan. Before her appointment to the Court, Justice Eid was the Solicitor General of the State of Colorado, representing Colorado officials and agencies in state and federal courts; an associate professor at the University of Colorado School of Law, where she taught constitutional law, tort law, and statutory interpretation; and an attorney with the Denver office of Arnold & Porter. She clerked for United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and for United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Judge Jerry E. Smith.

Justice Eid’s high standard for proficiency and efficiency give her a ratIng above average for: (1) writing opinions that are clear and adequately explain the basis of the court’s opinion, and that are well-reasoned, based on the law and facts; and (2) being well-prepared for oral argument. Attorneys also commented that she was fair and impartial. Judges rated her above average for writing opinions that are clear and that adequately explain the court’s decision.

Raymond Gruender - Missouri

Raymond W. Gruender (born July 5, 1963) is a Federal Judge on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. He holds an MBA, JD, and AB degree. Before joining the bench, Mr. Gruender was an attorney in both public and private practice. He served as an assistant US Attorney and later a US Attorney before moving up to the 8th Circuit. Gruender has been a proven conservative in his published opinions especially in regard to Planned Parenthood.

Don Willett - Texas

Wildly liked by conservatives, Judge Wilett has served on the Texas Supreme CouRT for over a decade. He is a native Texan who attended Baylor University and received a triple-major BBA (economics, finance, public administration) in 1988. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor with honors, along with an A.M. in poli-sci from Duke in 1992. Willett worked on the Bush-Cheney Presidential Campaign and Transition Team. In the White House, Willett was Special Assistant to the President and Director of Law and Policy for the White House, Willett returned to Texas in early 2003 to become Deputy Texas Attorney General for Legal Counsel in the office of newly elected Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.

Justice Willett was named Outstanding Young Alumnus of Baylor University in 2005. He has received the Faith and Integrity in Legal Services Award and the Austin Under 40 Award for Government and Public Affairs.

Justice Willett received the Texas Review 2014 Distinguished Jurist of the Year Award. Each spring, the Texas Review of Law & Politics awards its Distinguished Jurist of the Year award to an individual who has made valuable contributions both to the journal and to conservative causes of national importance.

Diane Sykes - Wisconsin

Diane Schwerm Sykes (born December 23, 1957) is a Federal judge on the 7th Circuit US Court of Appeals and former Justice of the Wisconsin Spreme Court. Judge Sykes is a very Conservative choice; she supports voter ID and wrote a decision expanding religious objectors’ ability to protect their employees’ from being forced to accept the birth control coverage in Obamacare. Future President Trump lists Judge Sykes among others who are representative of of constitutional principles. Sykes won confirmation with the backing of Wisconsin's two Democratic senators at the time, Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl. She has long been a favorite of conservative court watchers to move up.

David Stras - Minnesota

David Ryan Stras (born July 4, 1974) is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Minnesota. Stras was a professor of law at the Law School at the University of Minnesota for six years from 2004 to 2010. He focused on teaching and writing in the areas of federal courts and jurisdiction, constitutional law, criminal law, and law and politics. He has contributed to research on such topics as judicial pensions and life tenure for judges. He has also studied judicial appointments and the politics of courts.

Stras was appointed to the state Supreme Court with his term beginning on July 1, 2010. He was later elected to a six-year term in 2012. Prior to his appointment, he was a frequent guest on legal topics on public radio and he is believed to be the first Jewish justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court.

William Pryor - Alabama

William Holcombe "Bill" Pryor Jr. (born April 26, 1962) is a Federal Judge on the 12th Circuit and a Commissioner on the United States Sentencing Commission. Previously Judge Pryor was the Attorney General of the great State of Alabama from 1997 to 2004, which at the time gave him the distinction of being the youngest AG in the United States. Pryor's pass comments on Roe v. Wade (he called it "the worst abomination in the history of constitutional law) and a high court decision on an Alabama death penalty case made Judge Pryor an enemy of Democrats.

Pryor is a 1984 graduate of Northeast Louisiana University and a 1987 graduate of Tulane University School of Law. He has served as an adjunct professor at Samford University and as a deputy AG in Alabama from 1995-1997. He still serves as a visiting professor for the University of Alabama's School of Law.

Pryor is everything a conservative could ask for and based on the number of Liberal groups that are opposed to him, he's probably the best choice to succeed the late Justice Scalia.

Thomas Lee - Utah

Thomas Rex Lee (born 1964) is the Assiciate Chief Justice on the Utah Supreme Court. Lee is a BYU graduate with a law degree from the University of Chicago. He clerked for Suprme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and also worked in privately practice before being appointed to the high court. He was Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Division of the United States Justice Department from 2004-2005. In 2002-2004 he served as the lead counsel in cases brought by the state of Utah in relation to plans to put nuclear waste on the Gosuite Indian Reservation

In his private practice, Justice Lee specialized in intellectual property law. Many of the intellectual property rights cases he has been involved in revolved around trade-mark infringements brought by or against automobile manufacturers. He is recognized by his peers as an expert in trademark law.

Joan Larsen - Michigan

Joan Larsen (born December 1968) is a judge and lawyer appointed to the Michigan Supreme Court in 2015. She graduated first in her class at Northwestern and has served as a professor at the University of Michigan Law School for almost 20 years. She clerked for Supreme Court Justice Scalia and was an assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel from January 2002 to May 2003. Larsen is only the third Supreme Court justice in the states history to serve with no prior experience as a judge. Her research and teaching focused on constitutional and international law, the American judicial system and separation of powers, giving her a solid foundation to be appointed.

Larsen was quoted after her initial appointment as "enforcing the laws as they are written. I don't think judges are a policy-making branch of government."

Thomas Hardiman - Pennsylvania

Thomas Michael Hardiman (born July 8, 1965) is a Federal Judge on the 3rd Circuit. He was previously a United States District a Judge. Appointed by Prevident Bush and unanimously confirmed by the Senate, Judge Hardiman has seen two of his rulings reviewed by the Supreme Court.

He is a graduate of Notre Dame and received his law degree from Georgetown. He had a distinguished record as an attorney while in private practice and as a district judge. While an attorney in private practice, Judge Hardiman demonstrated his commitment to pro bono activities. He litigated a number of cases pro bono, including immigration matters, a death penalty case, and various constitutional and administrative law matters.

Raymond Kethledge - Michigan

Raymond M. Kethledge (born December 11, 1966) is A Federal Judge on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. He worked in private practice for many years before being appointed to the court, and once clerked for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kethledge graduated from the University of Michigan with his bachelor's degree in 1989 and from the University of Michigan Law School with his JD degree in 1993.

Steven Colloton - Iowa

Steven Michael Colloton (born January 9, 1963) has served on the 8th Circuit since 2003. Colloton earned his A.B. from Princeton in 1985 and his law degree from Yale in 1988. While at Yale, Colloton served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. He clerked for Chief Justice Rehnquist from 1989 to 1990.

Colloton has been regularly mentioned as a possible pick for the high court under a Republican president. Former Republican nominee Mitt Romney included Colloton's name on his short list.


All conservatives should be breathing a sigh of relief after the Trump campaign today announced a short list of candidates for the high court. The future President released his list of eleven potential Supreme Court nominees all who are extremely qualified and all of whom are conservative. There are no names on this list that would upset conservatives in any way. Trump is proving he will do what he's pledged to do.


As expected, the left has immediately vocalized the fact that no blacks, hispanics, and few women are in the list. But in its own way, this list has its share of untraditional elements. The judges were unusual for the court in being institutionally diverse. Many of them would be the first to represent their law schools on the Supreme Court. Specifically, there has never been a Supreme Court justice from the University of Chicago, Washington University in St. Louis, Georgetown, the University of Kansas, Marquette or Duke. Also, the judges on his list are pretty young. Their average age is just over 50 years, compared with an average age of 68.75 on the current court. All are highly qualified and strong supporters of the Constitution.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.


Submit a Comment
  • The Dirt Farmer profile image

    Jill Spencer 

    4 years ago from United States

    Gee, the thread that runs through the majority of these bios is desire to overturn Roe v Wade. Trump really must have "seen the light" about abortion as Palin claims, or he's simply pandering to the Christian right, which is foolishly trusting him.

  • RJ Schwartz profile imageAUTHOR

    Ralph Schwartz 

    4 years ago from Idaho Falls, Idaho

    I don't see any movement happening on a justice until after the election. It would be interesting to see Hillary Clinton's list of justices for comparison sake.

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    Doris James MizBejabbers 

    4 years ago from Beautiful South

    All the more reason for us to get somebody on the court now just in case Trump is elected.

  • Linda Robinson60 profile image

    Linda Robinson 

    4 years ago from Cicero, New York

    Good morning Ralph I really enjoyed this hub. you covered everything, all information in such great detail to inform any reader, very thorough and interesting, well written, and very informative. The perfect hub to keep everyone involved and engaged in politics what is happening in the world today. Talk to you again. Linda

  • lions44 profile image

    CJ Kelly 

    4 years ago from PNW

    I think Trump will get conservative votes anyway, and I would not advertise his possible choices. The Left is much more adept at using the Supreme Court as a wedge issue in the media, so he should play it close to the vest. But now the GOP has to hold on to the Senate. Somehow Trump has to quell a lot of the "throw the bums out" feelings in the GOP electorate. Make sure we save the incumbents. When our incumbents lose in the primaries, history shows we lose the seat.


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