The Latest: Clinton campaign slams Trump Supreme Court list


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Donald Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court justices (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman has released a scathing statement in response to likely rival Donald Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court picks.

John Podesta says Trump’s list of 11 Supreme Court candidates includes “no people of color, but does include a judge who upheld a law requiring doctors to use scare tactics to impede reproductive rights and another judge who equated homosexual sex to bestiality, pedophilia and necrophilia.”

Podesta was referring, respectively, to Missouri appeals judge Raymond Gruender and Alabama appeals judge William Pryor Jr.

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6:41 a.m.

One of the 11 judges named by Donald Trump on Wednesday as a potential replacement for the late Antonin Scalia says her inclusion on the list took her by surprise.

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen says the presumptive Republican nominee’s campaign gave her no heads-up that she was one of the people Trump had identified as worth vetting for the highest court if he becomes president.

“It was a complete surprise to me,” she says, adding that she was “honored” to be associated with the “incredibly distinguished jurists” on the list.

Larsen declined to share her opinion of Trump, saying that she’s “forbidden by the cannons of judicial ethics from having a position on that.”

She adds that she’s focused on her current job in Michigan.

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6:15 p.m.

One of Donald Trump’s possible Supreme Court nominees never served as a judge before being joining the Utah Supreme Court in 2010.

Thomas Lee was a law professor at the Mormon church-owned Brigham Young University and worked at a Salt Lake City firm practicing trademark, copyright and trade secret law.

Lee is a former deputy assistant attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice under President George W. Bush.

He clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who later swore Lee into Utah’s Supreme Court.

Lee earned a degree in economics from BYU and attended the University of Chicago Law School.

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5:06 p.m.

Joan Larsen, one of three women on Trump’s Supreme Court short list, was a clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia and was one of those who took turns standing vigil by his casket as he lay in repose.

Speaking to an AP reporter on the day of Scalia’s funeral, she called him a “great man and a great jurist.”

Larsen, a graduate of Northwestern University’s law school, was also one of two former clerks to speak at a memorial for Scalia a little over two weeks after his death. She said at the time that she often gets asked what it was like to “be a woman clerking for Justice Scalia.”

Her reply: “Much like being a man clerking for Justice Scalia is my response.”

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4:52 p.m.

One of the women on Donald Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees once sentenced two veteran abortion protesters to 60 days in jail.

Diane Sykes, 58, served as a Milwaukee County circuit judge from 1992 to 1999. She handed down the sentence in 1993 after the protesters bound themselves to a car blocking an abortion clinic doorway. She told them their motivations were pure and they possessed “fine character” — but their activities were illegal.

Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson appointed Sykes to the state Supreme Court in 1999. President George W. Bush nominated her for a seat on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2003. She holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and a law degree from Marquette University.

Sykes described herself as an “originalist-textualist” during a speech to the Wisconsin Bar Association in 2014.

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4:50 p.m.

A federal appeals court judge who also served as U.S. attorney in Missouri is among 11 potential Supreme Court justices presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has released.

Fifty-two-year-old Raymond Gruender has been a judge for the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in St. Louis, since 2004. He was confirmed in a Senate vote of 97-1 following his appointment by President George W. Bush.

Before that, Gruender served for three years as U.S. attorney in St. Louis.

Gruender is a St. Louis native. He declined to comment Wednesday about his place on Trump’s list.

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4:34 p.m.

Sen. Mike Lee of Utah doesn’t know if he can support Donald Trump but he is praising the billionaire’s suggestion of his brother, Utah Supreme Court Justice Thomas Lee, as a potential for the nation’s highest court.

The Republican senator said in a statement Wednesday that the people he knows on Trump’s list of 11 potential U.S. Supreme Court justices would all be great choices but “one name on that list stands head and shoulders above the rest.”

Mike Lee is a close friend and supporter of Ted Cruz and has repeatedly said he’s unsure if he could support Trump as the GOP nominee. He told The Washington Examiner last week that Trump “scares me to death.”

Lee’s spokesman Conn Carroll said the senator’s position had not changed Wednesday.

His brother Thomas Lee a justice on Utah’s Supreme Court.

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4:31 p.m.

Donald Trump’s list of potential nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court includes Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice David Stras, a former law clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas.

The former University of Minnesota Law School professor was appointed in 2010 by Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Thomas even traveled to Minnesota to administer the oath. Thomas said Stras was prepared “by training, by experience, by disposition” to for the job.

Earlier, Pawlenty said Stras fit within his philosophy of a limited role for the judiciary.

At the same news conference Stras called Thomas “my mentor in the law,” but said they differ in how they approach legal questions. He said the role of judges is limited, and they can’t solve every problem, but they also play a crucial role in safeguarding liberty and protecting the rights of all citizens.

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4:30 p.m.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees includes Colorado Supreme Court Justice Allison Eid (EED), a former law clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas.

Eid was an assistant and speechwriter to Education Secretary William J. Bennet under President Ronald Reagan. In 2002, President George W. Bush appointed her to a panel preparing a history of the U.S. Supreme Court.

She was Colorado’s solicitor general and a University of Colorado law professor before Republican Gov. Bill Owens appointed her to the state Supreme Court in 2006.

Through a spokesman, Eid declined to comment Wednesday.

In 2012, Eid sharply dissented from a court opinion that upheld a congressional redistricting process that made several Colorado seats more competitive.

She argued the process should be as minimally disruptive as possible and called the latest round “astonishing,” especially since Colorado didn’t gain or lose any seats after the 2010 U.S. Census.

Eid is married to Troy Eid, appointed by Bush as U.S. attorney for Colorado in 2006.

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4:15 p.m.

The eight men and three women on Donald Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees come from all over the country, but they share one thing in common — all are white.

That may not help Trump as he seeks to gain support among Hispanics and other minority voters in this fall’s general election. An Associated Press-GfK poll last month found that 82 percent of Hispanics had an unfavorable opinion of Trump.

President Barack Obama appointed the high court’s first Hispanic justice, Sonia Sotomayor. His other successful appointment to the court, Elena Kagan, is white, as is his latest nominee, Judge Merrick Garland. Several minorities were high on Obama’s list of possible nominees before he settled on Garland.

The judges on Trump’s list are relatively young. Judge Diane Sykes of the federal appeals court in Chicago is in her late 50s, but the others are all under 55. Garland is 63.

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3:53 p.m.

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says he’s impressed by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s list of potential picks to serve on the Supreme Court.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley says in a statement released Wednesday that Trump’s list is made up of judges who “understand and respect the fundamental principle that the role of the courts is limited and subject to the Constitution and the rule of law.”

Grassley noted that Trump included a fellow Iowan on his list. Steven Colloton sits on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush in 2003.

Grassley says understanding what kind of justices a president would appoint to the nation’s high court is an important part of the election debate.

He says that gives the American people “a voice in the direction of the Supreme Court for the next generation.”

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3:41 p.m.

Donald Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees is getting a thumbs-up from a conservative group spearheading opposition to President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland.

Carrie Severino is head of the Judicial Crisis Network. She congratulated Trump in a statement released Wednesday for “making a very significant policy statement about his desire to prioritize the future of the Supreme Court.”

Severino said the 11 federal and state judges on Trump’s list all share “a record of putting the law and the Constitution ahead of their political preferences.”

Her group has spent nearly $4 million on ads and other efforts urging the Senate not to hold confirmation hearings or vote on Garland’s nomination to replace the Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February.

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3:16 p.m.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett is laughing off the chance to comment on being named by Donald Trump as one of his 11 potential picks to serve on the Supreme Court.

Attending a book signing with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in Austin on Wednesday, Willet told reporters he was instead “exercising judicial restraint.”

The presumptive GOP presidential nominee said in March he planned to release a list of potential high court nominees to ease concerns about his conservative credentials.

Willett has a reputation as a strong conservative and his dry wit is frequently displayed on Twitter, where he sometimes posts 10 or more times a day.

In March, Willett took a swipe at Trump’s conservatism, tweeting: “Can’t wait till Trump rips off his face Mission Impossible-style & reveals a laughing Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”

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2:06 p.m.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has released a list of 11 potential Supreme Court justices he plans to vet to fill the seat of late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Trump’s picks include Steven Colloton of Iowa, Allison Eid of Colorado and Raymond Gruender of Missouri.

Also on the list are: Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, Raymond Kethledge of Michigan, Joan Larsen of Michigan, Thomas Lee of Utah, William Pryor of Alabama, David Stras of Minnesota, Diane Sykes of Wisconsin and Don Willett of Texas.

Trump said in March he planned to release the list to ease concerns about his conservative credentials in the Republican primary.

He said then the list would include judges “that everybody respects, likes and totally admires” and “great conservative judges, great intellects, the people that you want.”

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