On Monday, political outsider and presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy released his hand-picked list of judges, scholars, and conservative intellectuals whom he intends to appoint to the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals as president.
“President Biden’s focus on judicial appointments appeared to be on diversity of race & gender. While I drew from diverse experiences – current and former federal judges, a former Solicitor General, two U.S. Senators – my sole criterion was to select candidates with an unwavering commitment to an originalist understanding of the U.S. Constitution, who also understand the unique threats to liberty in the 21st century (including lurking state action),” said Vivek Ramaswamy. “Our courts remain the last line of defense against the overreach and weaponization of government. As President, I will appoint judges who will protect the integrity of our constitutional Republic.”
This list was not drawn from personal recommendations or backroom deals. I have not personally met most individuals on this list, but I will take time to meet them over the next year. This list was produced through a robust process over several months with input from multiple outside groups and a rigorous internal review focusing on reviewing judicial decisions and other writings to ensure clear commitments to the letter of the U.S. Constitution.
Vivek Ramaswamy’s List of U.S. Supreme Court Candidates
James Ho, U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
- Authored lower court’s opinion in Dobbs, which the Supreme Court later followed.
- Rejected lockdowns, closing churches during the pandemic in Spell v. Edwards.
Lawrence Van Dyke, U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
- Protected women’s pageants from transgender activism in Green v. Miss United States.
- Protected 2nd Amendment rights during the pandemic in McDougall v. County of Ventura.
Lisa Branch, U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
- Upheld Congressional powers against the administrative state in Salcedo v. Hanna.
- Ruled for election integrity and voter ID laws in Greater Birmingham Ministries v. Sec’y of State for Ala.
Thomas Hardiman, U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit
- Ruled against viewpoint discrimination and for free speech in Pa. Freethought Soc’y v. Cnty. of Lackawanna Transit Sys.
- Supported judicial review to keep the administrative state accountable in Riverkeeper Network v. Sec’y Pa. Dep’t of Evntl. Prot.
Justin Walker, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
- Ruled against pandemic lockdowns and for religious liberty in a ruling for drive-in churches in On Fire Christian Center, Inc. v. Fischer et al.
- Landed a blow against the administrative state in an important law journal article.
John Bush, U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
- Defended workers from vaccine mandates imposed by the administrative state in Kentucky V. Biden.
- Wrote in favor of parental rights and against mask mandates in Resurrection Sch. v. Hertel.
Paul Clement, Former U.S. Solicitor General
- Advocated against deference to the administrative state in Loper Bright Enterprises, et al., v. Raimondo.
- Not only won a major gun rights victory in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen but also resigned the same day from his law firm after they said they would no longer take Second Amendment cases.
Mike Lee, U.S. Senator, Utah
- Twice clerked under the heroic Justice Samuel Alito, both in the lower and Supreme Courts.
- Known as one of the foremost advocates for originalism in Congress. In his book “Saving Nine: The Fight Against the Left’s Audacious Plan to Pack the Supreme Court and Destroy American Liberty.”
Ted Cruz, U.S. Senator, Texas
- Fought for the Constitution and against left-radical court-packing.
- Champion of religious liberty who was the 2017 American Legion religious liberty award winner.
Vivek Ramaswamy’s List of U.S. Appellate Court Candidates
Sarah Pitlyk, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
- Argued for the religious liberty of Catholics with her amicus brief for Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.
- Strongly rebuked race quotas in an amicus brief for Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action.
Kathryn Mizelle, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
- Struck down the federal mask mandate in travel in Health Freedom Def. Fund v. Biden.
- Defended Florida’s right to ban sanctuary cities in City of South Miami v. Governor.
Martha Pacold, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
- Protected the free exercise rights of workers in Castro v. Dart.
- Upheld free speech rights for a parade in Aurora Pride v. City of Aurora.
Matthew Kacsmaryk, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
- Took strong action to defend life against mail-order abortion in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine et al. v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration et al.
- Defended both our border and our democratic powers in Texas v. Biden.
Brantley Starr, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
- Guarded against administrative state overreach in Kovac v. Wray.
- Protected worker free speech rights in Carter v. Transp. Workers Union of Am. Local 556.
Stephen Alexander Vaden, U.S. Court of International Trade
- Filed an amicus brief to defend election integrity in Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless v. Husted.
- As general counsel for the USDA, argued for their power to relocate employees outside of D.C. and into the heartland.
Ryan Holte, U.S. Court of Federal Claims