Justice Anthony Kennedy, a member of the Supreme Court, announced Wednesday he will retire, giving President Donald Trump his second opportunity to fill a seat on the high court.
According to a senior White House staffer, Trump is choosing his nominee from a list of 25 well-qualified judges.
His resume is impressive too. He was Alabama’s attorney general from 1997 to 2004. He’s also is a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, an independent agency that sets sentencing guidelines for the federal courts.
Also in his corner is his opinion on Roe v. Wade. Kennedy often supported abortion rights during his time on the court, and Trump wants to choose justice who want to overturn the landmark abortion rights case, and Pryor once called the 1973 decision, the “worst abomination in the history of constitutional law.”
He’s also a prime age for a potential nominee 54. Typically, presidents seek nominees who have the potential for a long tenure in the lifetime appointment, and thus look for nominees under 60 years old.
45-year-old Birmingham attorney Kevin Newsom was nominated by Trump to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit back in May 2017.
Alabama’s former solicitor general, who prior to his confirmation chaired the appellate group at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings in Birmingham, is also on Trump’s possible SCOTUS nominee list.
He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1997, where he served as Harvard Law Review’s articles editor. He earned his undergraduate degree at Birmingham’s Samford University in 1994, graduating summa cum laude with a 4.0.
After graduating law school, Newsom clerked for Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, and then for U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter from 2000-2001.
Newsom later joined Covington & Burling’s Washington-based appellate litigation practice group, where he served for two years before becoming Alabama solicitor general in 2003, appointed by then-Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor. In 2004, Pryor was named to the 11th Circuit, and was on Trump’s list of potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees.
A biography online says Newsom personally argued four cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and over 19 federal appellate court cases, as well as several in state appellate courts.
In 2007, Newsom stepped down as solicitor general to join Bradley Arant, calling the “the SG gig … the job of a lifetime.”
- Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- Keith Blackwell of Georgia, Supreme Court of Georgia
- Charles Canady of Florida, Supreme Court of Florida
- Steven Colloton of Iowa, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- Allison Eid of Colorado, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
- Britt Grant of Georgia, Supreme Court of Georgia
- Raymond Gruender of Missouri, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- Brett Kavanaugh of Maryland, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- Raymond Kethledge of Michigan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- Joan Larsen of Michigan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- Mike Lee of Utah, United States Senator
- Thomas Lee of Utah, Supreme Court of Utah
- Edward Mansfield of Iowa, Supreme Court of Iowa
- Federico Moreno of Florida, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
- Kevin Newsom of Alabama, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- William Pryor of Alabama, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- Margaret Ryan of Virginia, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
- David Stras of Minnesota, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- Diane Sykes of Wisconsin, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- Amul Thapar of Kentucky, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- Timothy Tymkovich of Colorado, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
- Robert Young of Michigan, Supreme Court of Michigan (Ret.)
- Don Willett of Texas, Supreme Court of Texas
- Patrick Wyrick of Oklahoma, Supreme Court of Oklahoma