At least one of the 11 people on Donald Trump’s shortlist for U.S. Supreme Court has close ties to Louisiana — U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge William H. “Bill” Pryor Jr., of Alabama.
Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, made the surprise release Wednesday of a list of people he would consider nominating to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat, if elected and if that seat remains open when the next president takes over.
Political pundits have speculated that the New York billionaire and reality television star is hoping to quell concerns that he would not nominate a conservative jurist.
Pryor, a former attorney general of Alabama, has degrees from Northeast Louisiana University, now known as the University of Louisiana at Monroe, as well as Tulane University in New Orleans. Pryor was a law clerk for New Orleans native Judge John Minor Wisdom, who served on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Others on Trump’s list include Steven M. Colloton, of Iowa; Allison Eid, of Colorado; Raymond W. Gruender, of Missouri; Thomas Hardiman, of Pennsylvania; Raymond Kethledge, of Michigan; Joan Larsen, of Michigan; Thomas Lee, of Utah; David Stras, of Minnesota; Diane Sykes, of Wisconsin; and Don Willett, of Texas.
The presidential election won’t take place until Nov. 8. Trump has emerged as the likely GOP nominee, following the exit of all other Republican candidates.
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders continue to spar over the Democratic nomination, with Clinton in the lead.
The next president could have an opportunity to fill multiple vacancies on the high court in the coming four years — for now the most high profile being that of Scalia, who died in February.
President Barack Obama has nominated U.S. Appeals Court Judge Merrick Garland for the post, but several conservatives, including Trump, have urged the Senate to delay confirmation to give the next president a chance to fill the opening.
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