Reason Roundup

Josh Hawley Doesn't Want Trump's SCOTUS Endorsement (Thank Goodness). But Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton Do.

Plus: The case for paying plasma donors, Joe Arpaio welcomes furries, and more...


President Donald Trump has released a new list of people he would nominate to the U.S. Supreme Court if given the opportunity. It's terrifying.

The list includes staunch warmonger Sen. Tom Cotton (R–Ark.), preening huckster Sen. Josh Hawley (R–Mo.), and veteran sycophant Sen. Ted Cruz (R–Texas), among 17 others. Yikes.

Hawley—whose latest round of legislative nonsense is providing a federally funded pay raise for police around the country—has already said thanks but no thanks to Trump. "I appreciate the President's confidence in listing me as a potential Supreme Court nominee. But as I told the President, Missourians elected me to fight for them in the Senate, and I have no interest in the high court," Hawley tweeted Wednesday afternoon.

Given Hawley's penchant for lying about his record, calling for bogus investigations, and introducing unconstitutional legislation, that's probably good news. (Although to the extent that Hawley's rejection signals an intent to run for president himself in 2024…double yikes.)

No such luck with Cotton and Cruz, however. Both men indicated they may be happy to accept the job of Supreme Court Justice. "I'm honored that President Trump asked me to consider serving on the Supreme Court and I'm grateful for his confidence. I will always heed the call of service to our nation," Cotton said in a press release.

Cotton followed that up by tweeting: "It's time for Roe v. Wade to go."

"It's humbling and an immense honor to be considered for the Supreme Court," said Cruz, in a statement that neither rejects the potential nomination nor fully embraces it. "The High Court plays a unique role in defending our Constitution, and there is no greater responsibility in public service than to support and defend the Constitution of the United States," Cruz's statement continued. "In the Senate, I have been blessed to lead the fight to preserve our constitutional liberties"—fact check: false—"and I look forward to continuing to do so for many years to come."

It's hard not to notice that the three senators on Trump's SCOTUS shortlist are all folks with confirmed or rumored presidential ambitions. Some have read their inclusion as evidence that, if elected in 2020, Trump will seek a third term in office. A less paranoid spin is that Trump is trying to clear the way in 2024 for one of his kids.

The 20 potential SCOTUS nominees that Trump offered up yesterday "are additions to an original list that has been updated throughout his presidency," notes CBS News. Aside from Cotton, Cruz, and Hawley, the list includes:

  • Bridget Bade (judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit)
  • Daniel Cameron (Kentucky Attorney General)
  • Paul Clement (served as solicitor general under George W. Bush)
  • Stuart Kyle Duncan (judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit)
  • Steven Engel (an assistant attorney general with the Department of Justice)
  • Noel Francisco (a former solicitor general under Trump)
  • James Ho (judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit)
  • Greg Katsas (judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit)
  • Barbara Lagoa (judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit)
  • Christopher Landau (U.S. ambassador to Mexico)
  • Carlos Muniz (justice on the Florida Supreme Court)
  • Martha Pacold (judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois)
  • Peter Phipps (judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit)
  • Sarah Pitlyk (judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri)
  • Allison Jones Rushing (judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit)
  • Kate Todd (deputy counsel to the White House)
  • Lawrence VanDyke (judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit)


• Trump told journalist Bob Woodward in mid-March that when it came to COVID-19, he "wanted to always play it down" because he didn't "want to create a panic." Trump also admitted to Woodward back in February that the new coronavirus was "more deadly than even your strenuous flu," although the president would continue to say otherwise in public.

• The case for paying plasma donors.

• Some perspective on Trump's claims to be an anti-war president who is bringing home troops:

• Joe Arpaio*—the notoriously racist and authoritarian former elected sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona—gets a lesson in furries:

• Disney's Mulan is "an extravagant mediocrity," writes Reason's Peter Suderman.

*CORRECTION: The original version of this article referred to Joe Arpaio as a pardoned felon. He was never convicted of a felony.