One of the chief arguments of the “Never Trump” movement, which aims to cut off Donald Trump’s campaign by launching a third party candidacy, is that Trump can’t be trusted to name conservative jurists to the Supreme Court.
However, Donald Trump quickly shut that third party movement down. In an unusual move, Trump released 11 picks that he would consider appointing as justices to the Supreme Court.
“I have a lot of people that are conservative that really like me, love everything I stand for, but they really would like to know my view,” Trump said during a Wednesday Fox News interview (via ABC News), “because perhaps outside of the defense of our country, perhaps the single most important thing the next president is going to have to do is pick Supreme Court justices.”
Trump had previously announced that he was going to release the list in order to quell the fears of conservatives within the Republican Party who might be inclined to support a third party.
“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,” Trump had previously at an event in Palm Beach, Florida. “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.’”
The announcement was met favorably in conservative circles.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, one of the leading Republican senators trying to block President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, said that Trump’s list has “laid out an impressive list of highly qualified jurists.”
“Understanding the types of judges a presidential nominee would select for the Supreme Court is an important step in this debate so the American people can have a voice in the direction of the Supreme Court for the next generation,” Sen. Grassley added.
“This list ought to be encouraging to anyone who prioritizes the rule of law, and I congratulate Mr. Trump on making a very significant policy statement about his desire to prioritize the future of the Supreme Court,” said Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative group also leading opposition to Garland’s nomination.
On the list to replace Antonin Scalia was one of Scalia’s former law clerks, Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen.
“I was surprised,” Larsen said. “I did see the list and those are incredibly distinguished jurists and I’m honored to be associated with judges on that list. It’s an incredible list.”
Also surprised to be on the list was Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett, a conservative who had openly mocked Trump on his Twitter account during the campaign.
In an Aug. 27, 2015 tweet, Willett wrote, “Can’t wait till Trump rips off his face Mission Impossible-style & reveals a laughing Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”
When asked by reporters about his appearance on the list, a chuckling Willett said he was “exercising judicial restraint” by refusing to comment.
Absent from the list was one of his former rivals, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who had previously worked for Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
All of this sure makes a third party run a lot less likely. Smart move, Mr. Trump. Please like and share on Facebook and Twitter if you agree.