(NationalSentinel) Judiciary: In an exclusive interview with the Washington Times, President Donald J. Trump pledged that he would continue choosing conservative nominees to future Supreme Court vacancies taken from a list of potential picks he created during his campaign.
Trump’s first high court nominee, Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, came from the same list, and he pledged that future nominees would as well.
The president also said he had heard that there could be another Supreme Court vacancy sometime this summer, but did not provide any additional insight.
“I don’t know. I have a lot of respect for Justice Kennedy, but I just don’t know,” Trump said, referring to the senior member of the bench, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. “I don’t like talking about it. I’ve heard the same rumors that a lot of people have heard. And I have a lot of respect for that gentleman, a lot.”
Kennedy is known on the high court as a swing vote; at times he sides with the court’s four conservatives, and other times with the court’s four liberals.
Ironically, Kennedy was nominated by the most conservative president in the modern era – Ronald Reagan. But he is no constitutional originalist – which, honestly, all federal judges and Supreme Court justices should be.
The Times noted further:
He went on to credit the list for helping secure conservative support during the campaign, saying it helped build bridges to Republicans who had been wary of him.
When he first suggested the list he promised to pick either someone on the list or someone similar to those names. Conservatives wanted a stricter assurance, however, and Mr. Trump said he then promised to heed the list explicitly.
“It’s a great list. From the moment I put that list out, it solved that problem. And I was proud to say it was my idea,” the president told The Times.
He put together the list with the assistance of Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the Federalist Society, and former Sen. Jim DeMint, now the head of the Heritage Foundation.
Trump had a lot of hoops to jump through after winning the GOP nomination – for conservatives, for libertarian-minded Republicans and for RINO establishment types, and while he cobbled together a large enough coalition of those three factions to beat Hillary Clinton, it is proving more difficult to get the same factions to agree on his legislative priorities.