Over at The Corner, here is conservative #NeverTrumper Jim Geraghty:
One of the most common, and least-easily-ignored questions from Trump fans to #NeverTrump conservatives was, “But what about judges? Don’t you care about the Supreme Court?” Hillary Clinton’s judicial nominees would be awful, but there was little guarantee that Trump, who clearly doesn’t spend much time thinking about judicial philosophy, strict constructionism, or the role of the courts in setting policy, would consistently pick better judges.
I totally get why conservatives don’t trust Trump to be a true conservative, but if there’s one area where I figured Trump was trustworthy, this was it. Why? Because he obviously knows nothing about this stuff and cares even less. He would just ask the Federalist Society for a list and pick someone from it. Really, conservatives had nothing to worry about on this score.
And sure enough, that’s how it played out. Trump released a list of eleven “potential” replacements for Anton Scalia this morning, and Geraghty is pleased: “At first glance, these are all names that conservatives would want to see and no names they wouldn’t want to see.” And that’s not all. John Yoo is happy too:
[Trump] may be starting to unify the party with the right moves — if his list of potential appointments to the Supreme Court is any sign. Everyone on the list is an outstanding legal conservative. All are young, smart, and committed….These names are a Federalist Society all-star list of conservative jurisprudence….Trump clearly turned to the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation for advice.
The list is mostly cribbed from a prior Heritage Foundation list and from names fed to Trump by Hugh Hewitt in a radio interview, and is heavy on state supreme court judges. It obviously is not the product of much due diligence, as it includes Twitter-savvy Texas supreme court justice Don Willett, who has repeatedly and hilariously mocked Trump on Twitter for months.
Ilya Shapiro calls it “Donald Trump’s terrific list of fabulous judges.” Paul Mirengoff says the list is “impressive….Trump is talking to the right conservatives when it comes to the Supreme Court. Fellow Power Liner John Hinderaker is also on board: “My sense is that the party is coalescing behind Donald Trump. No doubt this list of excellent judges will accelerate that process.”
So there you have it. Trump pretty obviously fobbed off this list to a couple of think tanks and released whatever names they told him to. He was too busy lying about past interviews and tweeting new insults to worry about trivia like this.