Trump lists BYU’s Lee as possible Supreme Court nominee

Lisa Powell
Trump released his possible Supreme Court nominees Wednesday, May 18. On the shortlist is Thomas Lee, Utah Supreme Court Justice and BYU adjunct professor of law. (Associated Press)

Utah Supreme Court Justice and BYU Law Professor Thomas R. Lee was included on the shortlist Donald Trump released of his top potential choices for the United States Supreme Court.

Trump gave the news Wednesday to a Republican Party that wants their voice to be heard in the U.S. Supreme Court. BYU’s Lee was one of 11 different federal and state judges on Trump’s list.

Trump said in a statement that his list “is representative of the kind of constitutional principles I value” and said that, as president, he would use it “as a guide to nominate our next United States Supreme Court Justices.”

Justice Lee was selected to serve on the Utah Supreme court in 2010 by Governor Gary Herbert. Although Lee is busy with his duties as a supreme court justice, he makes time to serve part time as a Distinguished Lecturer in Law at BYU. He is brother of Utah Senator Mike Lee.

Lee earned his undergraduate degree from BYU in 1988 and went on to earn his J.D. from the prestigious University of Chicago Law School in 1991. 

The President of the United States is responsible for nominating the members of the U.S. Supreme Court each time one retires or passes away. This is one of the many powers of the executive branch of the government.

Trump’s campaign made clear the list was compiled “first and foremost, based on constitutional principles, with input from highly respected conservatives and Republican Party leadership.”

The announcement comes as Trump has been trying to unite a divided Republican Party in the weeks since his competitors dropped out of the GOP primary race. The names on Trump’s list are conservative judges he hopes appeal to Republican leaders and voters.

The list of federal and state judges also includes: Steven Colloton of Iowa, Allison Eid of Colorado, Raymond Gruender of Missouri, Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, Raymond Kethledge of Michigan, Joan Larsen of Michigan, William Pryor of Alabama, David Stras of Minnesota, Diane Sykes of Wisconsin and Don Willett of Texas.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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