Donald Trump. (via Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

On Wednesday, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump released a list of people he would consider appointing to the Supreme Court if elected. The 11 names were intended to subdue Republican concerns that Trump would not choose a conservative replacement for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

While Trump’s list may have eased the minds of some Republican Party leaders, it prompted immediate backlash from liberal politicians. Hillary Clinton, front-runner for the Democratic nomination, immediately published a response detailing why Trump’s choices would “upend our most fundamental rights.” The statement, published on her website, lists six issues that would be affected: abortion rights, voting rights, marriage equality, campaign finance reform, affordable health care and “President Obama’s executive actions on behalf of DREAMers and parents.”

The website also notes the potential power of the next president regarding Supreme Court appointments:

With three current justices nearing or older than 80 years—past the court’s average retirement age—the next president will likely have the opportunity to nominate several justices to the Supreme Court. And in doing so, she or he could have the power to transform the court, and American law, for generations to come.

The New York Times breaks down Trump’s list:

Mr. Trump’s selections consisted of six federal appeals court judges appointed by President George W. Bush and five state supreme court justices appointed by Republican governors. All are white, and eight of the 11 are men. …

Several of the judges on Mr. Trump’s list have questioned abortion rights. They included Raymond W. Gruender, a judge on the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit who led a majority that permitted South Dakota to enforce a law requiring doctors to tell women that abortions “terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique living human being.”

Though Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed it Friday, legislation was passed by the state’s lawmakers earlier this week that would have made it a felony to perform abortions. Those behind the bill hope to bring a legal challenge to Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case legalizing abortion, and thus the next Supreme Court justice could become the deciding vote in preserving or overturning the right. As stated on Clinton’s website, “Trump has proposed banning abortions — and even said the result would be that women receiving the procedure should be ‘punished.’ ”

Interestingly, Republican leaders and even some of the very people Trump named on his list seem unsure of the presumptive nominee’s presidential capabilities. “Ed Whelan, a former clerk to Justice Scalia and a conservative legal commentator, praised several of the names on the list but reserved judgment about whether conservatives should trust Mr. Trump to follow through on what he says he will do,” states the Times. It also adds that Justice Don Willett of the Texas Supreme Court “has repeatedly mocked Mr. Trump and his presidential aspirations on his Twitter account.”

Willett has not yet commented on being included on Trump’s list.

—Posted by Emma Niles

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