Just under one year ago, conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia suddenly passed away at the age of 79. The vacancy created on the Supreme Court was at the center of controversy as the Republican Senate decided to not hold hearing for President Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland. Although the decision was ridiculed for months, it now appears that the Republicans probably did end up benefitting from the decision.

there is only one vacancy on the Supreme Court right now, but more seats may open up during Trump’s time in office.

One of the first priorities with Donald Trump now in office must be regarding who he will appoint to fill the vacancy. During the election season, he unveiled a list of judges who he believed fit the mold of Justice Scalia. The inclusion of these individuals on the list very much helped skeptical conservatives to rally behind Trump going into the general election.

Since the original list was released, there have been a number of other individuals also added to the list. It is widely expected that Trump’s nominee will be chosen from the list which he has provided. Here is the full list, which his campaign has released. There are 21 total individuals on the list which he has released. Although there are nearly two dozen names, there are only a couple which are believed to have a legitimate shot at being appointed, especially for this first vacancy.

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Although there is only one vacancy on the Supreme Court right now, there is certainly a potential that one, two, or even more seats will open up during Trump’s time in office. Liberal justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer are 83 and 78 years old respectively. The “swing vote” of the court, Anthony Kennedy is 80 years old, and conservatives Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito are 68 and 66 years old respectively.

1. Bill Pryor is a 54 year old Judge on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals of the United States., he was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2004. He is also Commissioner on the U.S. Sentencing Commission, he was appointed to the Commission by President Obama in 2013. Prior to serving as a federal judge, Pryor was the Attorney General of Alabama.

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He became the youngest Attorney General in the United States, he took office at the age of 35. Pryor attended the University of Lousiana-Monroe as an undergraduate, he received his JD from Tulane University. He was editor-in-chief of the law review at Tulane.

2. Diane Sykes is a 59 year old Judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals of the United States.. She was appointed to her current role in 2004 by President George Bush. Prior to taking her federal judgeship position, she served on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. She also served as a Judge on the US District Court of the East District of Wisconsin and she had worked in private practice as well. She graduated from Northwestern University as an undergraduate, with a degree in Journalism. Sykes received her JD from Marquette University.

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3. Joan Larsen is a 48 year old Judge on the Michigan Supreme Court. She was a professor at the University of Michigan Law School since 1998. She clerked for Justice Scalia after law school. She receiver her BA from Northern Iowa University and graduated at the top of her class from Northwestern School of Law. She was the Articles Editor of the Northwestern University Law Review.

Photo: Dave Wasinger/Lansing State Journal

4. Steven Colloton is a 54 year old Judge on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals of the United States. Colloton was appointed by President Bush in 2003 to be a federal judge. He was an assistant US Attorney, and later became US Attorney in the Northern District of Iowa. Colloton obtained an AB from Princeton University and a JD from Yale University. He was editor at the Yale Law Journal. After law school, he clerked for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court William Rehnquist.

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These four judges all have a very strong chance at becoming the replacement of the late Antonin Scalia. Each of these potential nominees would likely fit the originalist mold of Justice Scalia very well.

What do you think of this list? Let HYPELINE News know what you think in the comments!

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Jake Leahy is a Staff Writer for Hypeline News, frequent contributor on 560 the Answer in Chicago, and a student at Deerfield High School (IL). Follow him on Twitter @jakealeahy.

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