Monday, November 14, 2016

From the NYT: Trump’s Supreme Court List: Ivy League? Out. The Heartland? In.

All current members are from Harvard, Yale or Columbia. That seems likely to change.

- Click here for the article.
If the list has a main theme, it is that there are plenty of good judges who went to law school at places like Notre Dame, Marquette, the University of Georgia and the University of Miami.
About half of Mr. Trump’s candidates sit on state supreme courts, and almost all those who sit on federal appeals courts do so in the heartland. (The exception is Judge Margaret A. Ryan of the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, in Washington.)
The résumés of the justices currently on the Supreme Court, by contrast, reflect a legal profession that is deeply hierarchical, obsessed with credentials and dominated by lawyers on the two coasts. Mr. Trump’s list, like his campaign, is a revolt against the elites.
At the same time, Mr. Trump’s candidates are, unsurprisingly, committed judicial conservatives. Mr. Trump credited two leading conservative policy groups — the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society — with helping to draw up his list.
“You had an awful lot of conservatives during the campaign who were incredibly skeptical, to put it mildly, about Donald Trump,” said John G. Malcolm, a Heritage Foundation official who suggested a number of names that appeared on the list. “But they certainly cared a lot about the Scalia vacancy and the direction of the court. And that list was a very, very sober list, and it was greatly reassuring.”
The list is a good reflection of Mr. Trump’s dual priorities, said William M. Jay, a lawyer with the firm of Goodwin Procter and a former law clerk to Justice Scalia.
“It was consistent with the message he was trying to send: that he was not going to be naming establishment choices but that the establishment might well be happy with the people he chose from Alabama and Iowa and places like that,” Mr. Jay said.
The top priority for conservatives, Mr. Malcolm said, was to avoid another disappointment like Justice David H. Souter, who was appointed by President George Bush in 1990 but whose voting record on the Supreme Court turned out to be decidedly liberal.

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