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Three Current And Former Michigan Judges On US Supreme Court Shortlist

Three current and former Michigan judges are on the shortlist to be the next United States Supreme Court Justice.  President Donald Trump says he has a list of 25 potential candidates that he will choose from.  Justice Anthony Kennedy will retire in July.

The list includes former Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, Robert Young.  Michigan State University recently approved a contract for almost $1.3 million for Young as their new attorney.

Carl Tobiasis a professor of law at Richmond University who studies federal judicial selection.  He says the 67-year-old Young might not be what Trump is looking for.

“I wouldn’t want to be ageist, but Trump talked about someone serving for 40 years and so that might be a basis on which the White House might not consider him on the top of the list,” Tobias said.

Tobias said Trump’s other two Michigan names on the list are closer to the age bracket Trump is looking for, and one of them has already been appointed by Trump.  Justice Joan Larsen was appointed to the 6th Circuit Court of Appealslast year.  Tobias said Larsen doesn’t have as long of a track record on the bench as other candidates, but she’s still a contender.

“And I think she’s certainly well regarded in academic circles, certainly at Michigan at the law school, but [also] around the country,” he said.

Larsen competes against her fellow justice on the 6th Circuit Raymond Kethledge.  Kethledge has been on the bench for about a decade and was appointed by former President George W. Bush.  Tobias says Larsen and Kethledge have strong profiles, though they may not be quite as conservative some others on the list.

“I think they’ll systematically look at the entire list, and I think they’re strong candidates so I think they will be given some serious consideration,” he said.

This will be Trump’s second appointment to the Supreme Court.

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—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

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