President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced a list of additions to the White House's shortlist of U.S. Supreme Court nominees, many of which have been outspoken on the right to keep and bear arms.
The new list of 20 could come in handy should Mr. Trump win reelection in November as the court's current nine jurists only include two who are under age 60 while another two, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, are well into their 80s.
"Over the next four years America’s president will choose hundreds of federal judges and in all likelihood one, two, three, and even four Supreme Court Justices," said Trump in a press conference. "The outcome of these decisions will determine whether we hold fast to our nation’s founding principles or whether they are lost forever."
As to be expected, the new additions to the list are filled largely with the names of sitting federal district and appeals court judges including Judges Kyle Duncan and James Ho-- both of which wrote in strong support of fewer gun restrictions in a denial of an en banc hearing on the 2018 Mance v. Sessions ruling against interstate handgun sales.
"The Government’s proposed prophylaxis—to protect against the violations of the few, we must burden the constitutional rights of the many—turns the Second Amendment on its head," said the dissent in that case. "Our Founders crafted a Constitution to promote the liberty of the individual, not the convenience of the Government."
Other names on the list include former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, who as an attorney in civil practice has gone on to plead pro-gun cases in courts across the country including bans on magazine limits and strict "may issue" concealed carry laws.
Further, new to the list are pro-2A Republican U.S. Senators including Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas.
Cruz, as Texas Solicitor General in 2008, drafted a strong amicus brief in the Heller v DC case that earned the signatures of 31 state attorneys general to uphold the right to keep firearms in the home for self-defense. Since he has been on Capitol Hill, the Texas lawmaker has opposed universal background checks, gun bans, and increased firearm restrictions to the extent of joining in filibusters to halt them while supporting reform measures such as the Hearing Protection Act.
Cruz spoke to Guns.com in 2015 about the reason behind the Second Amendment.
And about ATF regulations. At the time, Cruz joined with 51 other Senators to apply pressure to government regulators who were mulling a ban on common green tip 5.56 NATO ammunition.
"It's humbling and an immense honor to be considered for the Supreme Court," said Cruz this week in a statement. "The High Court plays a unique role in defending our Constitution, and there is no greater responsibility in public service than to support and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Biden's picks a mystery
Trump in 2017 announced a public list of 25 potential Supreme Court nominees including then-Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh who would go on to be confirmed by the Senate to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy the next year. The President's first nomination to the high court, made just days after his inauguration in January 2017, was then-Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch, who was confirmed to fill the vacant seat left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia who had died nearly a year prior. In addition, over 200 of President Trump's judicial nominees have been confirmed to lower benches.
Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden has not released a similar list, a shortcoming that Trump blasted this week.
"Joe Biden has refused to release his list, perhaps because he knows the names are so extremely far left that they could never withstand public scrutiny or receive acceptance," said the President. "He must release a list of Justices for people to properly make a decision as to how they will vote. It is very important that he do so."