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Trump Narrows Supreme Court Pick to 5 Names

Following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday, President Donald Trump announced Monday that he had narrowed his pick to replace her on the Supreme Court to 5 names, vowing to appoint a woman and further adding that he would announce his choice on Friday or Saturday following RBG’s funeral.

While the White House has not officially revealed the names of the final 5 candidates, at least 3 names consistently appear as potential picks: 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett, 11th Circuit Judge Barbara Lagoa, and 4th Circuit Judge Allison Jones Rushing, with others adding 6th Circuit Judge Joan Larsen as a fourth name.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett

Long considered a favorite pick for the Supreme Court, Judge Barrett appeared on President Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court picks after being appointed to the 7th Circuit in 2017. A former Scalia clerk, she also teaches at Notre Dame Law School. Ideologically, she is an originalist and textualist scholar with multiple publications on stare decisis and statutory interpretation.

Judge Barbara Lagoa

A recent addition to Trump’s list of potential picks, Judge Lagoa formally served on the Florida Supreme Court before her appointment to the 11th Circuit in 2019. Judge Lagoa was appointed with bipartisan support and as a Cuban-American, would be the second Latino appointed to the Supreme Court. Potentially less controversial than Judge Barrett, many consider her another way for Trump to gain support in the swing state of Florida.

Judge Allison Jones Rushing

Another new name, 38-year-old Judge Rushing formally clerked for both Justice Neil Gorsuch (at the appellate level) and Justice Clarence Thomas and has served on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals since 2019. She is also a member of the Federalist Society with ties to Alliance Defending Freedom. While her resume would likely guarantee support from conservative backers, her appointment to the court of appeals was controversial and needed two nominations from President Trump to go through.

Judge Joan Larsen

Another former Scalia clerk, Judge Larsen has served on the 6th Circuit since 2017 where she was appointed by President Trump. She formally served as a justice on the Michigan Supreme Court and taught at the University of Michigan Law School. She speaks often at Federalist Society events.

While commentator have named several other male justices as potential picks, the remaining females on Trump’s previously released lists of potential picks include:

  • Bridget Bade, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Martha Packold, Northern District of Illinois
  • Sarah Pitlyk, Eastern District of Missouri 
  • Kate Todd, deputy assistant to the president
  • Allison Eid, 10th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Britt Grant, 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Margaret Ryan of Virginia, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
  • Diane Sykes, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals