President Donald Trump released his list of additional potential Supreme Court picks Wednesday, and made the point that his challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, had not released a list of names of potential and judicial nominees.
Trump's full list of potential SCOTUS nominees, released by his reelection campaign pic.twitter.com/sXkDbgXGAF
— Johnny Verhovek (@JTHVerhovek) September 9, 2020
“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,” Trump said.
Trump challenged Biden to release a list so that the public could “properly make a decision as to how they will vote.”
In May 2016, during the last weeks of the Republican presidential primary, Trump released a list of potential Supreme Court appointees as part of an effort to convince conservatives to support his nomination.
The move was admired outside the Republican Party as a unique way for voters to hold the candidate accountable for judicial nominations.
Biden has not released a list of potential nominees, even though he has hinted at doing so.
During the last Democratic presidential primary debate, facing off against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Biden promised to nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court.
“Number one, I committed that if I’m elected president, to have an opportunity to appoint someone to the courts who will be — I will appoint the first black woman to the courts,” he said.
That announcement was greeted with some skepticism by liberal constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, who noted that Biden’s commitment violated existing laws against racial and gender discrimination: “What Biden was declaring, and what Sanders wisely avoided, would effectively constitute discrimination in admission to the Supreme Court. Indeed, the Supreme Court has declared that such race or gender conditions are strictly unconstitutional for admission to public colleges.”
Since then, Biden has remained mum about his potential judicial picks. One problem he faces is that the judiciary does not currently have a large number of black female judges.
Two candidates have emerged in media speculation: Justice Leondra Kruger of the California Supreme Court; and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who is a district judge in Washington, D.C.
Kruger’s appointment in 2014 was criticized at the time, as she had never practiced law in California. Jackson has frequently issued rulings and injunctions against the Trump administration and its policies.
Biden would likely have other options outside the judiciary — as Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan was, and as some of Trump’s choices might be.
However, it is impossible to know, or to hold Biden accountable, until he releases his list.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.