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A Shorter List of Potential Nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court

By William Vogeler, Esq. | Last updated on

In the whirlwind of reports since Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, most of it has focused on President Trump's list of possible replacements on the U.S. Supreme Court.

There are 25 names on the list, which leaves a lot of room for speculation. Trump has said only that his nominee will come from the list, and that it will be a person who can serve for many years.

For various reasons, some potentials are non-starters. Here are three who stand a better chance.

Brett Kavanaugh

Judge Brett Kavanaugh, 53, is a frontrunner with a conservative record on the "right" bench. He was appointed to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals in 2006, and has produced some 286 opinions.

The DC Circuit is considered a launch pad to the U.S. Supreme Court, but Kavanaugh barely made it there. With opposition in the Senate, it took three years from his nomination to his confirmation.

Keith Blackwell

Judge Keith Blackwell, 42, serves on the Supreme Court of Georgia. He is the second-youngest male nominee and figures into Trump's plan for a long-lived appointee.

Patrick Wyrick, 37, of the Oklahoma Supreme Court is the youngest, but is waiting for confirmation to a federal judgeship. While youth is on their side, Trump would not be able fill state court vacancies as he would if he nominates a sitting federal judge.

Amy Coney Barrett

Judge Amy Coney Barrett, of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, is a former law professor. At 46, she is the second youngest woman among six who are on the president's short list.

Three women serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, but Barrett would be the conservative voice for women. She could become the only female Republican appointee on the bench since Sandra Day O'Conner was elevated in 1981.

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