WALTERBORO, SC — Donald Trump supporters in South Carolina agree with the Republican frontrunner that the next president should be the one to fill the current U.S. Supreme Court vacancy. And they have some ideas about who that person should be.
“Somebody just like Scalia, in just about every way,” Bill Reece of Charleston told ThinkProgress.
“Sheriff Joe,” said Chris Horsley, referring to the staunchly anti-immigrant Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff, Joe Arpaio. “He’s a constitutionalist and he’s all for enforcing the law.”
Others have been listening to political pundits, who have said that Republicans could be hurt by rejecting a minority nominee — especially a black woman, like Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
“I keep hearing people in the media say that the next Supreme Court Justice should be a black woman,” said Mark Tolbert of Walterboro. “And I’m in total agreement with that. But I think it should be Mia Love, because she’s got the right idea and the right message.”
Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) is the first black female Republican in the House of Representatives. A Tea Party conservative, Love is anti-abortion and has proposed deep cuts to federal spending.
Other Trump supporters had a similar idea. “Do you know who I thought was good but nobody ever talks about? Condoleezza Rice,” said Sandra Thorpe, referring to President George W. Bush’s secretary of state.
“Oh yeah, she’d be good. I forgot about her actually,” her friend, Hope Wettach, replied.
“I just thought she was good with Bush,” Thorpe continued. “I thought she was strong.”
CREDIT: Kira Lerner
Trump has floated two possible names for nominees he might select if given the opportunity. In a statement earlier this week, Trump disclosed two judges he believes would “best represent the conservative values we need to protect: William ‘Bill’ Pryor Jr. and Diane Sykes.”
Pryor, who currently sits on the Eleventh Circuit, has described Roe v. Wade as a decision that created “a constitutional right to murder an unborn child.” He has also upheld Georgia’s voter ID law, a common method of voter suppression, and has argued that employers should be allowed to deny women health plans covering contraception.
Sykes may be even more conservative than Pryor. A judge on the Seventh Circuit, Sykes has also backed a voter ID law and has argued that anti-gay groups have a constitutional right to continue receiving government subsidies even if they engage in discrimination.
Supporters at one of Trump’s last campaign rallies before the South Carolina primary said that any Trump pick would be better than an Obama nomination, even if Obama chooses someone moderate.
“I’m really afraid because of the Second Amendment and what’s happening out west with the ranchers,” Dianne Lawson of Ridgeland, South Carolina said. “I’m really afraid of getting someone in there at this late date that’s just going to make all these Constitutional changes, and that’s my Constitution. Our forefathers put that in place and it’s worked.”