A complete guide to the judges on Donald Trump's Supreme Court short list

A complete guide to the judges on Donald Trump's Supreme Court short list
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Donald Trump's Supreme Court short list is actually, well, pretty long. While the president-elect has not yet floated a nominee to replace the Supreme Court vacancy left by late Justice Antonin Scalia, he has pulled together 21 names that comprise the "definitive" contenders. It's deeply conservative, which leaves open the possibility that many decisions that have expanded civil rights might eventually wind up on the chopping block. 

Trump augmented his original list of potential SCOTUS nominees — about whom the New York Times noted, "All are white, and eight of the 11 are men"  — with an additional 10 possibilities. The expanded version consists of four women and 17 men, and most of the selections are fairly un-Scalia-like. At least, that's according to a new study: "Searching for Justice Scalia: Measuring the 'Scalia-ness' of the Next Potential Member of the U.S. Supreme Court."

Who made the cut? Here are all of Trump's 21 nominees for our newest Supreme Court Justice, in alphabetical order by last name:

1. Keith Blackwell: 42, white, male. Blackwell has been a justice on the Supreme Court of Georgia since 2012, and before that, was a judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals. A former prosecutor, he clerked for Judge J.L. Edmondson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. 

2. Charles Canady: 62, white, male. A justice on Florida's Supreme Court since 2008, Canady was formerly a judge on the Florida Second District Court of Appeals. Heserved as general counsel for Gov. Jeb Bush, and was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2001. Before that, Canady served in the Florida House of Representatives. He skews very conservative in his political ideology, having reportedly coining the term "partial-birth abortion." 

Florida Supreme Court Justice Charles Canady.
Source: 
Steve Cannon/AP

3. Steven Colloton: 53, white, male. Colloton has been a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit since 2003. Before that, he was the U.S. District Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa. Colloton is firmly anti-abortion and once stood proudly against the Affordable Care Act's free birth control provision.

4. Allison Eid: 51, white, female. Eid has been a justice on the Colorado Supreme Court since 2006. Before her appointment, she was Colorado's solicitor general. Earlier in her career, Eid clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Judge Jerry E. Smith on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Eid is pro-gun and pro-states' rights. 

5. Neil Gorsuch: 49, white, male. Gorsuch has been a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit since 2006. He also clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justices Anthony Kennedy and Byron White. Gorsuch leans conservative, apparently disparaging of the liberal "social agenda."

6. Raymond Gruender: 53, white, male. Gruender has been a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit since 2004. Before that, he was the District Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri. His opinions heavily suggest that he opposes reproductive rights. 

Raymond Gruender in 2001, as district attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri
Source: 
James A. Finley/AP

7. Thomas Hardiman: 51, white, male. Hardiman has been an Article III federal judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals Third Circuit since 2007. Previously private practice attorney, Hardiman joined the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in 2003. ThinkProgress called him "one of the more enigmatic names on Trump's list of potential judges?," although he would seem to be Republican. 

8. Raymond Kethledge: 49, white, male. Kethledge has been a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit since 2008. Before that, he was a practicing attorney and, in his early career, a clerk for Justice Kennedy. Kethledge is perhaps best known for siding with Tea Party groups alleging they had been unfairly targeted in IRS investigations, when in fact progressive groups received the same degree of scrutiny. 

9. Joan Larsen: 48, white, female. Larsen has been a justice on the Michigan Supreme Court since 2015. Formerly a law professor at the University of Michigan, she clerked for Scalia in her early career. Larsen was a member of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel under President George W. Bush.

10. Mike Lee: 45, white, male. Lee is a Senator for Utah who was once a clerk for U.S. District and Appeals Court judges, including Samuel Alito. Before he became a senator, Lee was an attorney, and while he backs Trump's appointment of Jeff Sessions to attorney general, he has not backed Trump. He's also declined the position.

Utah Sen. Mike Lee would prefer not to join Trump's Supreme Court.
Source: 
Leigh Vogel/Getty Images

11. Thomas Rex Lee: 51, white, male. Lee is the associate chief justice on the Utah Supreme Court. Previously, he was the deputy assistant attorney general of the U.S., an attorney, and a clerk for Justice Thomas. 

12. Edward Mansfield: 60, white, male. Mansfield has been a justice on the Iowa Supreme Court since 2011. He was also a judge of the Iowa Court of Appeals and, before that, a private practice attorney. He is extremely conservative. 

13. Federico Moreno: 64, Latino, male. Moreno has been an Article III federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida since 1990, and was previously a judge in Dade County Court. Among the second round of nominees Trump proposed, after his initial list drew criticism for being highly homogenous, Moreno was born in Venezuela. He once ruled that the Coast Guard was wrong to send back 15 Cuban refugees who reached the Florida Keys.

14. William Pryor: 54, white, male. Pryor has been a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit since 2004. Formerly the Attorney General of Alabama and a private practice attorney, Pryor — in the esteem of right-wing media outlet, the National Review — "is viewed as the most rock-ribbed conservative of any potential Supreme Court appointee." He once argued in favor of the state's right to criminalize "homosexual sodomy."

William Pryor has said some pretty appalling things about gay sex.
Source: 
Cliff Owen/AP

15. Margaret A. Ryan: 52, white, female. Ryan has been an Article I federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Formerly a member of the Marine Corps, she once argued in defense of an Army paratrooper's circulation of racist materials under the auspices of free speech.

16. Amul Thapar: 47, Indian-American, male. Another late addition to Trump's list, Thapar has been an Article III judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky since 2008. Before that, he was U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky and a private practice attorney. 

17. Timothy Tymkovich: 60, white, male. Tymkovich has been the chief judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth District since 2015, having joined the court in 2003. Formerly a private practice attorney, he was also Colorado's solicitor general. Tymkovich supported Hobby Lobby's religiously motivated move to deny female employees contraceptive coverage. 

18. David Stras: 42, white, male. Stras has been an associate justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court since 2010. Previously a clerk for Justice Thomas, he was also a private practice attorney and is on faculty at the University of Minnesota Law School. Notably, he's advocated for limiting the power of the court for which he is now being considered.

Diane Sykes is conservative through and through, which doesn't bode well for women.
Source: 
Jose Luis Magana/AP

19. Diane Sykes: 58, white, female. Sykes has been a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit since 2004. Formerly a Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, she has also been a private practice attorney and has supported voter ID laws and the funding of anti-LGBTQ organizations, and has been against eliminating the cost of contraceptives. 

20. Don Willett: 50, white, male. Willett has been a Texas Supreme Court Justice since 2005, and served as deputy attorney general during the George W. Bush administration. He thoroughly enjoys a good tweet. (He is still extremely conservative, though.)

21. Robert P. Young, Jr.: 65, African-American, male. Young is the chief justice on Michigan's Supreme Court, and has been on the bench since 1999. Before that, he was a judge on the Michigan Court of Appeals before that. Young is conservative, but believes judges' politics shouldn't affect their interpretation of the Constitution. When he was added to the list in September, Young said he hadn't been notified. 

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Claire Lampen

Claire is a staff writer at Mic who covers women's issues and reproductive rights. She is based in New York and can be reached at claire@mic.com.

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