Donald Trump has released to the public his picks for potential U.S. Supreme Court openings. Apparently, in the hopes that it could help in his re-election efforts. So far, Trump has made two appointments to the country's highest court.

The list of possible U.S. Supreme Court justices numbers is 20 all-in-all. Many of them are already federal judges at a different level. Others have various backgrounds, including three members of the U.S. Senate.

Cruz, Cotton, Hawley make the shortlist

CBS reports that U.S. Senators Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, and Josh Hawley made Trump's list of possible nominees.

It's been over 60 years since a former member of Congress has held a seat on the Supreme Court.

Ted Cruz has been a U.S. senator from Texas since 2013. From 2003 to 2008, he was the state's solicitor general. Before that, Cruz held federal posts under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

In 2016, Cruz was Donald Trump's main rival for the Republican Presidential nomination. He also clerked under U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Wiliam Rehnquist.

Tom Cotton has been a member of the U.S. Senate from Arkansas since 2015. Prior to that, he was a U.S. Representative. He represented Arkansas' 4th Congressional District, covering much of the state's southern and western regions. He's also a retired captain in the U.S.


Josh Hawley has represented Missouri in the U.S. Senate since 2019. His Senate term follows his tenure as Missouri's attorney general. Hawley's past posts include clerking for Chief Justice John Roberts. It seems unlikely that at this point that Hawley would be put up for nomination. According to Yahoo, he's not interested in a spot on the Supreme Court.

Half of the list are already federal judges

Of the 20 names listed, ten of them have already been confirmed to a federal judgeship. They have presided over many different courts. Others include two former solicitors general of the United States. Among them is Paul Clement. Clement was also briefly the acting attorney general of the United States.

He was mentioned as a possible Supreme Court nominee for both Mitt Romney and John McCain.

Sitting Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron was also named, as was Florida Supreme Court Justice Carlos G. Muniz. Muniz is a former general counsel in the Trump administration. Other posts he's held include a variety in Florida.

There are currently no vacant seats on the United States Supreme Court. But getting justices confirmed has become exceptionally contentious on both sides in recent years. It wouldn't be surprising for either side to have a list of possible choices ready long in advance.