WASHINGTON — On Monday afternoon, President Donald Trump is expected to name a well-known Minnesota judge to the federal bench.
According to The New York Times, Trump is expected to name Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras to the United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, in St. Louis, Missouri.
Stras made national headlines one year ago, when the Trump campaign released a shortlist of potential candidates he would look to while filling Supreme Court vacancies.
As reported by Alpha News, Stras joined 10 other candidates who were on Trump’s shortlist to fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in February 2016. Trump nominated Justice Neil Gorsuch to the bench, who was recently confirmed to replace Scalia.
Stras clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas before teaching at the University of Minnesota Law School. He has served on the bench of the Minnesota Supreme Court since 2010.
The 42-year-old justice graduated from the University of Kansas.
“A Judge’s job is to faithfully interpret and apply the Constitution and laws passed by our elected representatives, without favor toward any political party, power broker, or special interest group. Judges should decide cases in an impartial, even-handed, and objective manner, not follow their own political leanings or policy preferences. Being a judge is not, and should not be, a political job,” Stras told Minnlawyer in 2012.
The New York Times reports that an elevation in status to the federal bench will make the candidates more likely to pass through a rigorous confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court bench.
It is expected that during the next eight years, three to four Supreme Court justices could tender their resignations.
A study by Harvard Law School shows that since 1979 the average age of retirement is 79 for Supreme Court Justices.
There are currently three justices approaching or already past the average retirement mark. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 84, Justice Anthony Kennedy will be turning 81 in July, and Justice Stephen Breyer will be turning 79 this August.
In February, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told Fox News that he expected to see a Supreme Court vacancy this summer. In April, The Hill reported Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) also echoed the sentiments stating, “there is a ‘rumored’ upcoming retirement.”