What to Know About Donald Trump's Potential Supreme Court Nominees

May 18, 2016

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump released a list on Wednesday of 11 potential Supreme Court nominees, federal and state judges whom he plans to vet to fill the spot on the court left vacant by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's death.

The judges named to the list include three women and eight men. Many of them, if confirmed, would be the only person on the bench who did not study law at Harvard or Yale or serve on a federal court. At least two people on the list are closely linked to people who have been vocal opponents of Trump's candidacy, and one judge clerked for Scalia.

Here's what to know about each of the judges on Trump's list:

Steven Colloton

A U.S. Court of Appeals circuit judge for the eighth circuit in Des Moines, Iowa, Colloton was nominated to his position by George W. Bush in 2003. He attended Princeton University and Yale Law School. He was a clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist from 1989 to 1990. Previously in his career, he was an associate independent counsel during the Whitewater investigation, worked in the Department of Justice and was a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Iowa.

FILE - In this March 13, 2006 file photo, Allison Eid is sworn in as chief justice of the Colorado Supreme Court in Denver. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has released a list of 11 potential Supreme Court justices he plans to vet to fill the seat of late Justice Antonin Scalia. (AP Photo/Linda McConnell, Pool, File)
Allison Eid is sworn in as chief justice of the Colorado Supreme Court in Denver, on March 13, 2006.Linda McConnell—AP

Allison Eid

A justice on the Colorado Supreme Court, Eid was appointed to the position in 2006 by then-Gov. Bill Owens, a Republican. She previously served as solicitor general in Colorado and practiced commercial and appellate law for the national firm Arnold & Porter. Eid clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and she graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor's degree before attending the University of Chicago Law School. Eid, who grew up in Spokane, Washington, has two children with her husband, Troy.

Raymond W. Gruender, United States Attorney, Eastern District of Missouri, gestures Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2001 while responding to questions concerning the U.S. Department of Justice report in the June 12, 2000, deaths of drug suspect Earl Murray and Ronald Beasley. The two unarmed men were shot and killed in the parking lot of the Jack in the Box restaurant in north St. Louis as they tried to escape in Murray's car during an encounter with a St. Louis County Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force. The report concluded that evidence does not show the unidentified officers willfully used more force than was reasonable. (AP Photo/James A. Finley)
Raymond W. Gruender, United States Attorney, Eastern District of Missouri, on Oct. 3, 2001.James A. Finley—AP

Raymond Gruender

A judge on the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Gruender was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2003. He was previously a federal prosecutor, and he spent nine years in private practice. He received business and law degrees from Washington University in St. Louis.

Thomas Hardiman

Hardiman is a judge on the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. He worked in private practice for several years, becoming a partner at Titus & McConomy LLP and then Reed Smith LLP. Hardiman graduated from the University of Notre Dame and Georgetown University Law Center. Hardiman—who was born in Waltham, Massachusetts—has three children with his wife, Lori.

Raymond Kethledge

Kethledge is a judge on the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, appointed by President George W. Bush. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1989 and Michigan Law School in 1993. He formerly clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and served as counsel to then-U.S. Sen. Spencer Abraham and was responsible for matters related to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2015 file photo, Joan Larsen, a University of Michigan law professor, speaks after she was appointed to the Michigan Supreme Court by Gov. Rick Snyder, right, in Lansing, Mich. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has released a list of 11 potential Supreme Court justices he plans to vet to fill the seat of late Justice Antonin Scalia. (AP Photo/David Eggert, File)
Joan Larsen, a University of Michigan law professor, speaks after she was appointed to the Michigan Supreme Court by Gov. Rick Snyder, right, in Lansing, Mich. on Sept. 30, 2015.David Eggert—AP

Joan Larsen

Larsen was appointed to the Michigan Supreme Court in September 2015 by Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican. She was previously a professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School. She graduated from Northwestern University School of Law.

Larsen previously served as deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel, where she advised the White House and attorney general on constitutional and statutory law. Larsen clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, whose death in February left the vacancy on the court that could be filled by someone appointed by the next president. She and her husband, Adam, have two children.

Thomas Lee

Lee is the associate chief justice on the Utah Supreme Court. He was appointed by Republican Gov. Gary Herbert in July 2010. Lee graduated from the University of Chicago Law School and was a clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Lee is the brother of Utah Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican who has been outspoken about not supporting Trump. Mike Lee previously endorsed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and last week said Trump "scares me to death" and has not yet earned his endorsement.

FILE - In this June 20, 2005 file photo, William Pryor is seen in Atlanta. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has released a list of 11 potential Supreme Court justices he plans to vet to fill the seat of late Justice Antonin Scalia. (AP Photo/John Amis, File)
William Pryor is seen in Atlanta on June 20, 2005.John Amis—AP

William Pryor

Pryor is a judge on the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a post he was appointed to by President George W. Bush in 2004. He served as the attorney general of Alabama from 1997 to 2004, becoming the youngest attorney general in the country when he first took office. He graduated from Northeast Louisiana University and Tulane University School of Law.

FILE - In tis May 13, 2010 file photo, Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice David Stras speaks in St. Paul, Minn. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has released a list of 11 potential Supreme Court justices he plans to vet to fill the seat of late Justice Antonin Scalia. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)
Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice David Stras speaks in St. Paul, Minn., on May 13, 2010.Jim Mone—AP

David Stras

Stras has been an associate justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court since July 2010. He previously was a professor at University of Minnesota Law School. He graduated from the University of Kansas in 1995 and the University of Kansas School of Law in 1999. After graduation, he practiced white collar criminal and appellate law at a firm in Washington, D.C., and later clerked for Justice Thomas.

Diane Sykes

Sykes was nominated as a judge to the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals by President George W. Bush in 2004. She served as a justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court from 1999 to 2004. Sykes graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and briefly worked as a reporter before graduating from Marquette University Law School.

Sykes, who has two sons, was formerly married to Milwaukee radio host Charlie Sykes, who has been a vocal #NeverTrump advocate. "Diane would be an outstanding choice. Would make a great justice," Charlie Sykes posted to Twitter on Wednesday. "But I [simply] don't believe Trump." "Former wife, mother of my children, outstanding judge. Would be a great Supreme Court justice," he later added.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett, left, asks a question during oral arguments in Texas' latest school finance case at the state Supreme Court, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015, in Austin, Texas. Attorneys for more than 600 school districts suing Texas argue that the funding is inadequate and unfairly distributed, making it hard for students and schools to meet stringent academic standards. Attorney General Ken Paxton's office counters that, while not perfect, public education money meets state constitutional requirements for an efficient system providing a "general diffusion of knowledge."(AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett, left, asks a question during oral arguments at the state Supreme Court in Austin on Sept. 1, 2015.Eric Gay—AP

Don Willett

Willett, a justice on the Texas Supreme Court, has been dubbed the “Tweeter Laureate of Texas” and has on several occasions used the medium to post seemingly critical jokes about Trump's candidacy. Willett previously served as deputy attorney general in Texas and also deputy assistant attoney general for legal policy in the U.S. Department of Justice. He graduated from Baylor University and earned his law degree from Duke University. He and his wife, Tiffany, have three children.

TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.