Young on Trump’s list for high court nominations

Chad Livengood
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Lansing — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has added Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Young Jr. to his list of possible nominees for the nation’s highest court.

The Trump campaign said Friday that Young is among 10 judges and attorneys from across the country whom the New York businessman would consider nominating to the U.S. Supreme Court if he is elected president.

“It’s news to me,” Young said Friday morning when contacted by The Detroit News. “I haven’t been contacted.”

In May, Trump released a list of 11 individuals he would consider nominating to the U.S. Supreme Court that included Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Raymond Kethledge of Michigan. Trump now has a pool of 21 individuals he would consider.

Trump’s first list of possible Supreme Court nominees was seen as an attempt to shore up support among conservatives in the Republican Party just as he was officially securing the nomination.

Former Gov. John Engler appointed Young to the Michigan Supreme Court in 1999 and he was most recently re-elected in 2010 to another eight-year term that ends in 2018. Young was previously a state appeals court judge for four years.

Young, a Republican nominee for the technically nonpartisan state Supreme Court, is the highest ranking African-American elected official in state government.

“As somebody who has spent more than two decades on the appellate state judiciary, I mean service on the United States Supreme Court would certainly be a unimaginable joy,” Young said Friday.

Young said Larsen would be a good fit on the Supreme Court, which has been operating with one vacancy since February after the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

“She’d be an absolutely splendid rule-of-law justice in the Scalia tradition,” Young said of Larsen, who is up for election on the Nov. 8 ballot after being nominated to the court a year ago by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Republicans in the U.S. Senate have blocked President Barack Obama’s nomination of U.S. District of Columbia Court of Appeals Judge Merrick Garland for months, knowing the next president will get to immediately nominate a Supreme Court justice.

Trump’s new list of 10 possible justices included U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, a conservative firebrand from Utah who was previously a clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Samuel Alito.

“Well, I guess anybody can have a list, right?” Young said.

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Twitter: @ChadLivengood