One Of These Die-Hard Conservatives Could Land On The Supreme Court If Romney Wins

Miguel EstradaMiguel Estrada leaving a court hearing in 2010.

Photo: Getty Images/Scott Olson

The U.S. Supreme Court is greying. Four justices are older than 70, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg is pushing 80.There’s an excellent chance one of these elders will step down in the next four years, and that Mitt Romney or Barack Obama will pick the next justice.

Given this golden opportunity, Romney would pick a Conservative with a strict interpretation of the Constitution in the model of Antonin Scalia, experts say.

“Romney has a real problem with hard-core conservatives,” Duke Law professor Neil Siegel told Business Insider, referring to Romney’s difficulty getting right-wingers’ approval.

Siegel added, “Giving them the justices/judges they want would be an obvious way for him to satisfy them.”

1. Brett Kavanaugh

Position: Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit

Age: 47

Conservative credentials: He's a George W. Bush appointee who issued an arguably pro-business, anti-environmentalist opinion recently.

Kavanaugh was criticised this month for issuing an opinion that threw out an EPA rule requiring states to police air pollution drifting in from bordering states.

6. Janice Rogers Brown

Position: Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit

Age: 63

Conservative credentials: Brown, a daughter of Alabama sharecroppers, has argued that liberal values take away citizens' autonomy and create a slave-like state, according to this 2005 New York Times profile.

She also opposes affirmative action and abortion rights.

2. Paul Clement

Position: Partner at the law firm of Bancroft LLP

Age: 46

Conservative credentials: Under George W. Bush, Clement served as solicitor general, a position known as the '10th justice' because the SG argues so many cases before the high court.

Clement resigned from his firm King & Spalding after it withdrew its decision to represent Republicans who were fighting to keep the defence of Marriage Act in place. He joined Bancroft, which took up the pro-DOMA crusade.

3. Lindsey Graham

Position: Senior Republican Senator from South Carolina

Age: 57

Conservative credentials: While Graham has spoken out against extremists like Tea Partiers, he has taken a conservative stance on hot-button issues.

He has voted to bar federal funding for birth-control education abroad; to ban gays from adopting; and against allowing the EPA to police greenhouse gas, according to the website On the Issues.

5. Diane Sykes

Position: Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Age: 54

Conservative credentials: Sykes is also a member of the conservative Federalist Society and might gain favour with especially pro-gun members of the right.

In 2011, she wrote an opinion finding the Second Amendment protects public firing ranges.

7. Peter Keisler

Position: Partner at the law firm Sidley Austin

Age: 52

Conservative credentials: Keisler served as assistant attorney general under George W. Bush, and was described in a New York Times editorial as a 'hard-line movement conservative.'

Left-wingers have accused him of pushing Bush's 'War on Terror' agenda, and his 2006 nomination to the DC Circuit was successfully blocked.

8. Miguel Estrada

Position: Partner in the Washington office of Gibson Dunn

Age: 51

Conservative credentials: Democrats also successfully blocked his nomination to the DC Circuit, essentially forcing him to withdraw his own name in September 2003.

The National Abortion Federation opposed his nomination. The group said he purposely evaded questions about his stance on abortion during his confirmation hearing.

4. Jeff Sutton

Position: Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Age: 51

Conservative credentials: Sutton is an active member of the Federalist Society and clerked for conservative icon Antonin Scalia.

Sutton shocked his right-leaning brethren when he upheld Obamacare, but he's still probably conservative enough for Romney's liking.

Now check out the lives of the current Supreme Court ...

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