Conservatives hesitant about Donald Trump may find comfort in the genuine alarm and even hatred the left shows for the eleven judges Trump says he likes for the Supreme Court.
The left-wing group Think Progress immediately went with the race card, referring to the “eleven white people Donald Trump will consider for the Supreme Court.”
They don’t like Judge Steven Colloton because:
He is a reliable conservative. In 2008, the Eighth Circuit heard Planned Parenthood v. Rounds, a challenge to a South Dakota law that required abortion providers to tell their patients that abortions terminate “an existing relationship” with an “unborn human being” and that abortions lead to an increased risk of suicide. They don’t. Nevertheless, Colloton joined an opinion which reinstated the law after a panel of his court ordered it halted.
Think Progress points out that the Eighth Circuit is the only federal appeals court to strike down the contraceptive mandate in Obamacare.
Judge Allison Eid annoys Think Progress because she clerked for Clarence Thomas and served as a speech writer to William Bennett. She also supported the Second Amendment rights of Colorado university students.
They don’t like Missouri-based Judge Raymond Gruender because he’d worked for Bob Dole’s presidential bid and also wrote the opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Rounds.
Judge Joan Larson is on their blacklist for clerking with recently deceased Justice Antonin Scalia, a man she called “one of the greatest legal minds of our era.”
Think Progress has negative things to say about each of the eleven Donald Trump is said to have come up with in consultation with conservative legal scholars.
The pro-abortion group NARAL Pro-Choice America says, “…these people are terrifying. And many of them are devoted members of the anti-choice movement.”
William Pryor drew their sharpest criticism. They call him:
A highly controversial George W. Bush judicial appointee, Pryor is a long time outspoken anti-choice activist who opposes legal abortion even in cases of rape or incest. Among his statements on the issue: ‘I will never forget Jan. 22, 1973, the day seven members of our highest court ripped the Constitution and ripped out the life of millions of unborn children.’ He also said Roe v. Wade was the “worst abomination in the history of constitutional law.
NARAL doesn’t like Diane Sykes either:
Also a George W. Bush appointee, she has a long and documented history opposing the right to choose. As a judge in open court, she praised the criminal motives of anti-abortion protesters. “I respect you a great deal for having the courage of your convictions and for the ultimate goals that you sought to achieve by this conduct.”
Judge Thomas Hardiman “has contributed to the National Right to Life Committee before he was appointed to the federal bench.”
Judge Raymond Kethledge “…was the Judiciary Committee counsel for Sen. Spencer Abraham while Sen. Abraham was pushing for the Federal Abortion Ban. He also supported the Supreme Court nomination of Samuel Alito; it is worth noting that Alito became the fifth vote to uphold the constitutionality of the Federal Abortion Ban.”
And Judge Steven Colloton “…worked on special assignment to the Office of Independent Counsel, Kenneth Starr.”
NARAL president Ilyse Hogue summed up their opposition: “Donald Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees is a woman’s worst nightmare.”
As for conservatives, one very well connected Hill staffer who used to clerk for one Trump 11 describes the list as “an ideological murderer’s row.”
If anything it is the specter of four Hillary Clinton Supreme Court picks that may lure never-Trumpers into the yes camp. His eleven suggestions may have helped assuage the caution of many of them.