In today’s Friday afternoon “news dump”—a tactic to either bury bad news or, as here, to get reporters scrambling to cover an important story despite weekend plans—President Trump added the following people to his list of potential Supreme Court nominees: Seventh Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Georgia Supreme Court Justice Britt Grant, D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Eleventh Circuit Judge Kevin Newsom, and Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Patrick Wyrick.
These are stellar additions to the existing list of Supreme Court potentials. They show that the administration’s judicial-nominations team continues to be serious about picking people who are widely respected for their intellectual rigor and commitment to the rule of law. The inclusion of two more state justices—and only one from Washington (or anywhere in the Acela corridor)—also shows the national scope of the search for legal talent. Not everyone will agree with everything these jurists have written, but nobody can doubt that they are eminently qualified to join the highest court in the land.
I’ll have more to say in coming days and weeks about the significance of this larger list and the role it plays in the context of President Trump’s judicial nominations more broadly.