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Op-ed Placement

How to Ensure Conservative Judicial Nominees on the Supreme Court

Originally Published in Fox News on 1/29/16.

It was encouraging to see George Stephanopoulos raise the issue of judicial appointments Sunday on ABC's This Week. "What kind of judges will you appoint? Will they be conservative? What does that mean to you and how will you ensure it?" he asked Donald Trump.

When Trump replied that he would "appoint conservative judges," Stephanopoulos asked for examples. Trump cited Justice Clarence Thomas and noted that Justice Roberts "turned out to be an absolute disaster because he gave us ObamaCare." Trump added that he would "work with people that I respect, conservative people" in selecting judicial nominees.

Because Donald Trump does not have any experience appointing judges, his best approach to the process would indeed be to rely heavily on the recommendations of respected conservatives in the legal community. Other GOP contenders have the legal background to take a more hands on approach.

There is no one right answer, but questioning the presidential candidates about judicial appointments is vitally important. Stephanopoulos did well, going beyond asking Trump what kind of judges he would appoint by prodding him for specific examples. Most importantly, he asked the Republican candidate how he would ensure that his judicial nominees are truly judicial conservatives.