To prove his conservative bonafides, Trump has released a list of 11 potential nominees to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Antonin Scalia. The judges hold various positions on state supreme courts and federal courts, and together form something of a conservative’s fantasy judiciary team. They’re also united by more than just the shared honor of being on Trump’s list: They are all white.
It is true that President Obama’s own most recent nominee, Merrick Garland, is also white, but not all of his three reported finalists were. To come up with 11 white judges Trump’s team had to work against statistics. A Congressional Research Report paper from 2014 found that 23.5 percent of U.S. circuit court judges are non-white. A Seton Hall Law Review paper from 2010 found a slightly lower number of minority judges on state supreme courts—in 2009, 12.8 percent of state supreme court justices were non-white. Remarkable that somehow none of them made Trump’s list!
But Don Willett, a justice on the Texas Supreme Court who has mocked Trump multiple times on Twitter and is also white, somehow did.