Some of Trump’s potential candidates to replace Ginsburg on Supreme Court

From former law clerks to ethnic minorities who crashed glass ceilings, Trump has many choices.

Supreme Court exterior
Supreme Court exterior 3
Monte - JTN
Updated: September 18, 2020 - 11:58pm

President Trump long has been prepared to fill a third Supreme Court vacancy if the opportunity arose, assembling a healthy list of candidates from which he can now choose to replace the legendary liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Ginsburg died Friday night after a lengthy battle with cancer, opening a seat on the high court just weeks before Election Day.

Trump has many options to choose from: women, Catholics, minorities, young jurists and experienced judges among them. He may also look for a candidate attractive to GOP senators in tight reelection races, like Maine's Susan Collins, Iowa's Joni Ernst, Colorado's Cory Gardner and Arizona’s Martha McSally.

Here are five candidates that could be among the finalists:

Judge Amy Coney Barrett

Coney Barrett is a former law clerk to the late Justice Antonin Scalia and a former Notre Dame Law School professor who was confirmed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals three years ago. She is a darling of conservatives and many Catholics, and drew strong suspicions among Democratic senators for her faith. "Dogma lives loudly within you, and that's a concern," Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) lamented during Coney Barrett's confirmation hearing in 2017. The future judge deflected those concerns, saying she would never let personal convictions affect her judicial decisions.

Judge Amul Thapar

Thapar made history when President George W. Bush nominated him in 2007 as the first U.S. District Judge of South Asian descent, and Trump elevated him to the 6th Court of Appeals. He has been on the Supreme Court short list for some time now.

Judge Allison Eid

Eid is a former justice on the Colorado Supreme Court who has served on the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals since Trump nominated her in 2017 to take the seat formerly held by Justice Neil Gorsuch. She has worked for some prominent conservatives over the years, including clerking for Justice Clarence Thomas and advising William Bennett when he was U.S. Education Secretary.

Judge Barbara Lagoa

Lagoa would be a historic pick, though she has only been serving on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals for a year. She was the first Cuban-American ever to serve on the Florida Supreme Court.

Judge Steven Colloton

Colloton has a classic resume for a Supreme Court nominee, clerking for former Chief Justice William Rehnquist, serving in the U.S. Justice Department, and working on Whitewater Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's probe before President George W. Bush nominated him to the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

The Lee Brothers

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and his brother Thomas Lee, who currently sits on the Utah Supreme Court, are possibilities to make the list. They come from some hefty legal lineage: Their father Rex Lee was Ronald Reagan's former solicitor general.

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