Supreme Court Prospects and Process
President Trump is planning to release a new list of Supreme Court Justice prospects by September 1.
As names are discussed in various quarters, we want to share some thoughts with you regarding the prospects, but also the process. The “process” of developing a new list is probably as important as the “prospects” because the prospects are a product of the process. In other words, a deficient process is unlikely to yield excellent prospects.
So, before we highlight some of the better prospects, here are some thoughts on the process.
First, is there a standard for a great Supreme Court prospect? In my view, we should be looking for prospects who have a: (1) long-term, (2) courageous, (3) demonstrable record of standing for (4) judicial constitutional conservativism. (prior judicial service is not necessary.)
Second, don’t settle for less. While no prospect is perfect, there are some excellent available prospects. Therefore, there is no need to recommend names for a SCOTUS prospect list that lack a “long-term, courageous, demonstrable record of standing for judicial constitutional conservativism.”
Third, this may sound harsh, but every prospect should begin with a presumption of “unfitness.” In criminal law, every person is presumed innocent, but given the “conservative” record on SCOTUS nominations, every nominee should be presumed unfit, and then be affirmatively required to prove their fitness with their record. Conservatives have a fifty percent failure rate in putting constitutional conservatives on the Supreme Court. Therefore, we should not accept any nominee who is not affirmatively able to meet the high standard.
Fourth, in keeping with “3” above, don’t accept the burden of having to prove that a nominee is bad. If a nominee does not affirmatively meet the above standard, then it is fair and smart to oppose them – not because they are a bad person – but simply because: (a) the stakes are too high with SCOTUS picks, (b) we have failed too many times, and (c) there are several excellent available prospects.
Fifth, vigorously research, discuss and even argue about prospects. According to the Bible: “iron sharpens iron.” While that process can produce sparks – the result is well worth it. Likewise, there must be a vigorous discussion regarding prospects. The discussion should be respectful toward the prospects, the President, his advisors, and outside leaders – but it must be vigorous and honest.
Discussion of the Prospects.
JAG plans to share our research on prospects and we welcome your constructive feedback. If you think we have missed a case or a written position of a prospect – please tell us. Our goal is not to “be right in the first instance” – but to “arrive at the right result in the last instance.” The Bible teaches that “where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” Together, I believe we must all help the President and the Senate find the best prospects for the Supreme Court.
At this point, we believe the following prospects meet the standard of having a: (1) long-term, (2) courageous, (3) demonstrable record of standing for (4) judicial constitutional conservativism.
Judge James Ho
Judge Cory Wilson
Senator Ted Cruz
Our research on Hawley is available here.
We hope to share our research on other prospects, including Judge Ho, Judge Wilson and Senator Cruz this week as well.
We believe there are other prospects who may meet the above standard but we have not completed our research on those individuals, including Judge Lawrence VanDyke, Judge Sarah Pitlyk, Judge Steven Menashi, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, and Judge Allison Jones Rushing.
There are a ton of other potential prospects. Some fail to meet the standard, some need more time to develop a record, and some are perhaps not under serious consideration at this stage.
The stakes are very high. We recommend that you research the prospects and share your thoughts with the White House, key Senators, and other constitutionally conservative leaders.
Respectfully, Phillip L. Jauregui
Judicial Action Group