Who the hell are these people?
Tonight Trump is scheduled to announce his nominee to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Though we don't know which of the four finalists will ultimately be named, whoever winds up in the seat will have a huge impact on the court for a long, long time. And... we're likely talking about a bad impact. A conservative impact. Ugh.
So who exactly are these finalists?
According to several sources, the four main front runners are... four people you've never heard of: Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett and Thomas Hardiman.
Here's where they lie on the scale of liberal to conservative:
- Was appointed judge in the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals by Dubya. Before that, he served as Staff Secretary in Dubya's White House.
- Worked as a clerk for SCOTUS Judge Anthony Kennedy
- Was a protege of Kenneth Starr's. He helped write the Starr report, which that outlined the details of President Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky.
- An Ivy league graduate (we all know Trump loves those)
- Predicted to be more conservative than departing Justice Kennedy. During his time on the D.C. Circuit, he wrote a couple of ruling reining in Obama-era environmental regulations and called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unconstitutional.
- Additionally, his nomination would not bode well for the Russian Investigation. Kavanaugh concluded during his investigation on the Clinton case that presidents should not be bothered with criminal investigations or civil lawsuits while in office.
- Has served on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the past decade
- A self described introvert and outdoorsman who is described by those who know him as a quintessentially "Michigan guy", whatever that means. He fishes and enjoys hunting grouse.
- Probably the most fun thing about this guy is that he wrote a self-help book about the benefits of working in solitude. What a party.
- Leans quite conservative. He has a history of opposing women's reproductive freedom, and many are concerned about his views on immigration. He's also quite fond of the Second Amendment. Too fond.
Amy Coney Barrett
- Joined the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals less than a year ago, and would be the youngest justice on the court on only the fifth female justice in the court's history.
- Kind of a wildcard since she's so new to the federal bench that there isn't much data on her. What we do know is she has a history of clerking for conservative judges and is a member of the conservative Federalist society.
- LOL, she is maybe in a cult? She's affiliated with People of Praise, a small, mostly Catholic group of about 1,700 adult members. These "Charismatic Christian" groups generally pray by speaking in tongues and practicing faith healing. The manuscript of this group talks about leaving the group like it's the same as adultery. Lol... wut.
- Leans super duper Catholic and quite conservative. She does not consider Roe V. Wade to by untouchable so it could very well be in danger with her nomination.
- A judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and was a runner-up to fill Scalia's vacant seat last year.
- A late addition to the list of options, he has been supportive of the death penalty, unsympathetic to most free speech claims, and has an expansive view on the second amendment. BLARGH!
- Despite his record, some scholars think he has a chance to be more moderate than the others on Trump's list. Many conservatives were skeptical of his credentials and were afraid he'd be too liberal. Moreover, he might have an edge over the other as he served on the 3rd Circuit with Trump's sister who backed him for the Scalia seat last year.