Trump could bring a different kind of diversity to the Supreme CourtIf Trump nominates one or more of these people to fill Supreme Court vacancies, it's perfectly legitimate for their advocates to use these arguments on their behalf. Opponents will have legitimate arguments of their own, probably focusing on ideology and temperament.
... As he considers a list of nominees to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia, Trump is looking for a kind of diversity the current court lacks.
The potential nominees all have sterling judicial conservative credentials. But the current list represents something else -- a nod to judges from "flyover" states, an appreciation for non-Ivy League schools and even a dash of political experience. Many on Trump's list wore different hats before donning their judicial robes. And some have personal stories that could attract the President-elect.
... Trump's list is geographically diverse, including names from Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri and Minnesota. At an appearance at the University of Arizona last August, Justice Elena Kagan noted the issue of geographic diversity and the fact that many justices come from the "non square states."
... Besides geographic diversity, Trump might seek a candidate that brings a strong personal story to the court.
Last month, Judge Thomas Hardiman appeared in Washington to moderate a complicated panel concerning labor and employment law for the conservative Federalist Society. He told the panel he might have to channel his prior taxi driving experience to address the subject. Indeed, before he was appointed as a judge at 37 years old, Hardiman drove a cab to earn funds. He was the first child in his family to attend college....
Judge Rayond Gruender of the 8th Circuit has a different kind of story. Long before he took the bench, he suffered an unbelievably violent attack at the hands of his father....
A candidate who would certainly bring a different type of experience to the court is Margaret Ryan.
Ryan is a former active duty marine, including serving as an aide de camp to the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Ryan has more conventional credentials as well, as a former clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas and is serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. But how many nominees have served in both Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm? ...
But it isn't CNN's job to road-test talking points for the president-elect. And that's all this article does. If it's not intended to help Trump sell his judicial choices, it's intended to signal to the incoming administration that de Vogue is a friendly journalist the Trumpers can work with.
It's possible to take these talking points and weave them into a story that's not Pravda-esque -- see this piece by Adam Liptak in The New York Times a couple of weeks ago. But what de Vogue gives us is pure stenography. Expect more of this in the coming months, as an increasing number of journalists conclude, erroneously, that resistance to Trumpism (and Republicanism) is futile.