In the Republican debate Saturday night, front-runner Donald Trump answered a question about replacing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died Saturday.
“We have some fantastic people,” Trump said, including Diane Sykes and Bill Pryor.
So who are they?
Sykes and Pryor are conservative federal justices, both nominated to appeals courts by President George W. Bush. Sykes is a judge on the Seventh Circuit and former justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Pryor is a judge on the 11th Circuit and Alabama’s former attorney general.
According to Slate, Senate Democrats tried to block Pryor’s nomination to the 11th Circuit court, saying that he had described Roe v. Wade as “the worst abomination in the history of constitutional law.”
But Bush installed Pryor during a recess appointment, which meant he didn’t have to get the Senate’s confirmation.
At the time, some Senate Democrats argued the appointment may have been unconstitutional. His appointment was eventually confirmed by the Senate. President Barack Obama nominated him to serve on the United States Sentencing Commission, which develops a national-sentencing policy for the federal courts.
Trump dropped Sykes’ name again on “Meet The Press” Sunday morning:
“I think there are some great people out there, Diane Sykes from Wisconsin, from what everybody tells me, would be outstanding,” he said.
Bush nominated Sykes to the high court in 2003. She was eventually confirmed by the Senate in a 70-27 vote. One notable opinion she has written for the court came in Ezell v. Chicago, which prevented the city from instituting a ban on firing ranges in the city.
“We need a conservative person,” Trump said Sunday. “I think that certainly we have some great people. We lost one of the greats. I’d like to have the person tailored to be just like Justice Scalia. Justice Scalia was truly a great judge.”
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