Biotech entrepreneur and Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy unveiled his lineup of potential Supreme Court and federal appellate court nominees on Monday, becoming the first contender in the party’s field to provide a detailed list of potential judicial appointments.
Ramaswamy’s list features prominent figures such as Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah as potential nominees for the Supreme Court. It also includes federal judges who have made significant rulings, such as striking down President Joe Biden’s airplane mask mandate and the FDA’s long-standing approval of the abortion pill.
The composition of the Supreme Court was a key concern for Donald Trump during his 2016 campaign. Conservative voters’ desire for a Republican president to nominate a replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia played a significant role in Trump’s victory.
During the 2016 primary, Trump released his own list of potential Supreme Court appointments to assure voters of his commitment to their judicial priorities.
In an interview, 37-year-old Ramaswamy emphasized the importance of transparency in revealing his list of potential nominees. He believes voters should have a clear understanding of his intentions when considering their choice for the next President of the United States.
Ramaswamy joins a growing list of Republican candidates aiming to reinvigorate conservative enthusiasm surrounding the Supreme Court, as Democrats have become increasingly energized by the court’s conservative rulings.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has pledged to appoint more robust conservatives to the bench than Trump did. Trump’s three appointments contributed to the conservative majority that overturned the constitutional right to abortion in a ruling last year, fulfilling a long-standing conservative objective. Trump has often celebrated the court’s decisions, highlighting that he appointed half of the court’s conservative majority.
Ramaswamy sees no reason to criticize Trump’s selections and regards claims that they were not conservative enough as unfounded.
His own list includes prominent conservative legal figures. However, Ramaswamy clarified that he would only nominate Cruz or Lee if doing so would not shift the balance of power in the U.S. Senate, currently controlled by Democrats with a two-vote margin. Another notable name on his Supreme Court list is Paul Clement, who previously served as Solicitor General under former President George W. Bush.
Ramaswamy also proposes elevating several district court judges to the federal appellate courts. Among them is Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, whose ruling against the abortion pill received attention for its anti-abortion rights stance. The ruling was swiftly halted by appellate judges and subsequently by the Supreme Court.
Kathryn Mizelle, whom Trump nominated to a judgeship in Florida at the age of 38, also appears on Ramaswamy’s list. She struck down Biden’s air travel mask mandate last year.
James Ho, another conservative judge nominated by Trump, is another notable inclusion. Ho serves on the Texas-based Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and is known for his conservative political rhetoric in his rulings. Ramaswamy expressed interest in Ho after the judge quoted Ramaswamy’s own book, “Woke, Inc.,” in one of his opinions.