White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows confirmed on Tuesday that Donald Trump plans to release a list of potential Supreme Court nominees should the opportunity to select a SCOTUS replacement arise.
“I’m optimistic that you’ll see those SCOTUS picks in coming days,” Meadows confirmed when reporters asked him about Trump’s plan. “We’ve been working very closely, the president has, with the White House general counsel, getting input from a number of others.”
Trump first announced his plan to release a new list of potential nominees in June. Trump’s strategy of releasing a similar list before the 2016 election is credited with playing a large part in his victory in that election cycle.
GOP voters were shocked when Justices John Roberts and Neil Gorsuch broke with traditional GOP values in a series of shocking court decisions in June. After the fact, Trump doubled down on his pledge to nominate ever more conservative judges if a vacancy arises.
Rumors that Justice Ruth Ginsburg will be forced to retire due to worsening health have swirled for months as the 87-year-old justice undergoes cancer treatments and suffers repeated hospitalizations.
Justice Stephen Breyer, at the age of 82 is also subject to rumors of retirement. Justice Clarence Thomas, 72, and Justice Samuel Alito, 70, are the next oldest SCOTUS justices, though both have denied speculation that they have any intention of retiring in the near future.
Trump’s 2016 list of potential nominees include several women and people of color, and Trump affirmed in June that some of the names on his forthcoming list will include some from his 2016 list.
Democrat opponent Joe Biden, on the other hand, is also working on a list of potential SCOTUS nominees, though he has promised to only nominate a black female to the court if given the opportunity, significantly narrowing the field of prospective nominees.