President Trump on Wednesday released his updated list of potential Supreme Court nominees and called on Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to follow suit.
“Should there be another vacancy on the Supreme Court during my presidency, my nominee will come from the names I have shared with the American public,” Trump said in announcing the list. “Joe Biden has refused to release his list, perhaps because he knows the names are so extremely far-left.”
The new list adds 20 new names including Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Josh Hawley of Missouri as well as Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who is considered a likely next pick to fill a potential vacancy, remains on the list, as do Senator Mike Lee of Utah and Judge Amul Thapar.
Cotton said in a statement that he is “honored” to be named on the list, adding, “the Supreme Court could use some more justices who understand the difference between applying the law and making the law.”
Cruz expressed his appreciation as well, saying he is “grateful for the president’s confidence in me and for his leadership in nominating principled constitutionalists to the federal bench.”
The revamped list garnered praise from pro-life advocates who hope that a conservative majority of justices could overturn the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide.
The new list is “filled with all-stars” and “reflects the president’s firm and proven commitment to only nominating Supreme Court justices who will respect the Constitution and the inalienable right to life,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List and national co-chair of the Trump’s campaign’s Pro-Life Voices for Trump, launched in January.
“We are confident that if a Supreme Court vacancy occurs in 2020 that President Trump and our pro-life Senate majority led by Leader McConnell and Judiciary Chairman Graham will move swiftly to fill it,” Dannenfelser said in a statement. “In contrast to President Trump, Joe Biden will only nominate Supreme Court justices who will uphold the Roe regime that allows for abortion on demand through birth.”
Hawley’s office pushed back against reports that the senator was “deeply involved in deliberations” over the list, calling such claims “false.”
Hawley “refused to vet names” and told White House staff he did not want to be on list, Hawley’s chief of staff said in a tweet, “but he did make clear that he will only support SCOTUS noms that say Roe was wrongly decided.”
The Missouri Republican wrote in a tweet that he appreciates Trump’s confidence in him but indicated he would not accept a potential nomination.
“As I told the President, Missourians elected me to fight for them in the Senate, and I have no interest in the high court. I look forward to confirming constitutional conservatives,” Hawley wrote.
Trump previously released a list of potential nominees during the 2016 campaign season, when the Supreme Court had a vacancy after the death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. Since then, two Trump nominees, Justice Neil Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, have been confirmed to the Court.