Picking the Next Supreme Court Justice

The Roberts Court, November 30, 2018. Seated, from left to right: Justices Stephen G. Breyer and Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Samuel A. Alito. Standing, from left to right: Justices Neil M. Gorsuch, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Brett M. Kavanaugh. Photograph by Fred Schilling, Supreme Court Curator's Office.

Washington, D.C. – -(AmmoLand.com)- The Supreme Court has been in the news a lot lately on issues of interest to Second Amendment supporters, both between the uncertain health of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the fact the high court is taking up a Second Amendment case. There have been reported sightings of Justice Ginsburg since her cancer surgery, but that hasn’t tamped down the notion of a potential court fight.

If she does vacate her seat on the Supreme Court, who should replace her?

The replacement will come from Donald Trump’s list of Supreme Court candidates – and there have been a few who could be finalists.

One is Amy Coney Barrett of the Seventh Circuit. She has a very impressive professional resume, including a clerkship under the late Antonin Scalia (who wrote the Heller opinion). She gained some notoriety when she faced religious attacks from Dianne Feinstein and Richard Durbin. If nominated and confirmed, she would be the first justice in quite a while to not come from an Ivy league law school.

Another is Amul Thapar, who was confirmed to the Sixth Circuit in 2017. Thapar would be the first American of Indian descent to serve on the high court and was among those interviewed as a potential replacement for Anthony Kennedy. He also would break up the recent Ivy League monopoly, having gone to law school at UC Berkeley.

A third option is Thomas Hardiman of the Third Circuit. Hardiman is notable for being the runner-up to Neil Gorsuch for the Scalia seat. Like Thapar and Barrett, he’d break up the Ivy League monopoly. He also has the experience of working as a taxi driver while going to law school. Hardiman may have the strongest paper trail on the Second Amendment. While he upheld the prohibition on felons owning firearms, he issued a blistering dissent in Drake v. Filko, stating that the requirement to demonstrate a “justifiable need” to get a concealed carry permit was unconstitutional.

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) could be a pick out of right field. Lee has a very strong pro-Second Amendment voting record in his eight years in the United States Senate, and his father, Rex Lee, was once Solicitor General of the United States. His brother Thomas (another potential Trump pick) serves on the Utah Supreme Court. Lee’s legal resume includes clerking for Sam Alito when Alito was on the Third Circuit, and later spent a year clerking for Alito on the Supreme Court. Lee’s departure would create a Senate vacancy, but Utah reliably sends pro-Second Amendment Senators to D.C.

The thing is, Ginsburg is not the only justice whose seat could be vacated. Associate Justice Stephen Breyer is 80, and thus could also retire, especially if Ginsburg departs. Clarence Thomas, the court’s strongest voice on the Second Amendment, is also said to be considering retirement, as he will turn 71 this summer.

It is very likely we could see multiple appointments.

These four, while only scratching the surface of the list, deserve to be near the top of it. Second Amendment supporters should contact the President, urging him to nominate a strong voice in support of our freedoms for the next vacancy or vacancies that emerge.


Harold Hu, chison

About Harold Hutchison

Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.

  • 24 thoughts on “Picking the Next Supreme Court Justice

    1. Quote: “…but Utah reliably sends pro-Second Amendment Senators to D.C.” Senator Mitt Romney? I believe he supported banning rifles and agreed with waiting period. Doesn’t sound very reliably pro-Second Amendment to me.

    2. if the voting issues are not fixed all this is a wash.all the other methods, ballot harvesting, illegals being bused to do multiple voting, felons, dead people, Unions…on and on. No leader is fixing any of this. What we are looking at is the United Communist States of California. America will have more ghettos, killing of children for profit, forced disarming of legal gun owners, while the gangs are armed and no death penalty for these people who commit major crimes. THE WHOLE COUNTRY WILL BECOME ONE BIG STINKING SH*TE HOLE LIKE Los Angeles.

    3. RBG is a living example that life terms are not a good idea. Retire at retirement age. Beyond that shows the citizens that being a Justice is an easy and non taxing job. I would, definitely take the guy that graduated from Berkeley off the list. It sure wouldn’t be worth the chance that he would turn out to be like Roberts, the Bush appointee.
      All this proves it is in our best interests to vote for Trump, again. This is one reason and there are many more. I still do not like his position on bumpstocks and red flag laws but he is the lesser of all the evils that are running in the democrat party. Hillary looks like a saint compared to most of them.

    4. Yawn. ALL the discussion of another SCOTUS nominee is moot until 2021. Trump is NOT going to get another SCOTUS nomination even considered, much less approved, on his current term. Whoever is elected in 2020 will appoint RBG’s successor (I doubt very much she can last to 2024) and possibly another.

      1. Yawn. Another person who is clueless about how government works. THE SENATE approves Supreme Court Justices. If you were awake, you would realize the senate is held by the GOP.

    5. As I tried to post twice earlier … Absolutely the reason to reelect Trump ! Look at the results if a social/communist crat is elected in 2020 !

    6. I suspect Ruth Bader Ginsburg did not retire under Obama because she wanted to retire under Hillary and have her replacement appointed by a woman. The 2016 election surprised her as much as anyone. Now she wants to hold on for 2 more years and wait and see.

    7. I think Ginsburg’s refusal to step down has more to do with her ego than with her dislike of President Trump. Otherwise, she would have retired when Preident Obama begged her to.

      1. I suspect RBG didn’t retire under Obama because she wanted her replacement appointed by Hillary. The 2016 election surprised her as much as anyone.

    8. If nothing else, the reformation of our Judiciary is reason enough to support Trump in 2020. A few things worth noting….

      McConnell has already stated the “Biden Rule” is only in effect when the presidency and senate are controlled by differing parties. That means he fully intends on voting for Judges until Trump’s very last day.

      Much has been written about the vile domestic terrorist RBG. Not much to add here except I pray her reign of terror ends soon.

      Breyer is also an octogenarian. Health troubles rise exponentially at that age. No way he stays on the court through 2024. This makes it all that much more important that Trump is re-elected in 2020.

      Now the most interesting case….Thomas. Thomas is acutely aware of the mistake that was made by RBG in that she didn’t retire during Obama’s failed presidency. He will be loathe to make that same mistake. Now, at least, he has proof of Trump’s solid commitment to nominating originalists. I’ll point out that Kavanaugh wasn’t ever on Trump’s initial list of prospective justices. His name only appeared at around the time Kennedy announced his retirement. That means there was a deal in place with Kennedy, who traded his retirement in return for naming his replacement. I expect Thomas do the same thing sometime next year.

      It’s almost certain that Trump, when all is said and done, will have seated 4 justices (odds are at least 1 of either RBG or Breyer will go), by the end of his first team. It’s even more certain that if he’s re-elected, he will have seated 5……at a minimum.

      So, for those who aren’t enamored, or perhaps even despise Trump, the Restoration of the Supreme Court, along with the Federal Judiciary, should be enough for anyone who cares about our Constitution, and the 2A, specifically, to offer him the full throated and relentless support that he’s EARNED. (And regardless of any criticism, earned or otherwise, is completely inconsequential relative to a democrat alternative)

      And finally….The modern democrat party are THE domestic enemies our Founders warned us about. Trump’s election and his subsequent handling of judicial nominations MIGHT have saved this country from its next Civil War.

      1. @ TrueBornSonofLiberty

        Ironic that the main reason to vote for Trump in the last election remains the best reason to vote for him again in 2020,the appointment of judges.

        1. Depends on the named candidate,look into Amy Coney Barrets judicial back round,her decisions say she is a strict originalist.

            1. @OV, I read Sen. Mike Lee’s book, entitled “Our Lost Constitution”. It made me a convert. He recounts in detail the corrupt S. Ct. decisions that got us where we are today. Lee zeros in on the cases that were not discussed in law school (law school professors being what they are).

    9. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves folks. As long as Ruth Bader Ginsburg is above room temperature she will not quit and, more shameful, the House will not impeach her for inability to do her job. Supreme Court justices are rightly appointed “for life,” but that provision trusted justices to quit when they either couldn’t do the job or no longer wished to do it. But RBG is determined to not let her seat be appointed by any Republican, much less Donald Trump. If she slips into a long term coma, there is nothing we can do to replace her. Any impeachment must come from the House, and they are run by the democrats who will never, ever, ever under any circumstances impeach RBG. It is as likely that the next appointment will be to replace Clarence Thomas who wants to retire and enjoy the rest of his life in peace.

    10. If chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan were replaced with originalists the court may return to it’s original function.

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