As news spread that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his plans to retire by the end of July, talk turned to who President Donald Trump will select to replace him.  The move allows Trump a second appointment for the bench in the two years since taking his oath - setting up a conservative slant to the bench for the next generation. Included among potential candidates is a Minnesotan - Judge David Stras, who serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Stras is one of 25 people listed on the list released by the White House last fall.  Last November - prior to nominating Neil Gorsuch for the post he eventually took - Trump released the so-called "short list" of judges he said he will choose future candidates from.  The list became a big talking point during his campaign; Trump used the list of names as a point of transparency for his eventual Presidential win.

The retirement of 81-year old Kennedy isn't a total surprise.  The Justice has served on the Supreme Court since being selected by then-President Ronald Reagan more than 30 years ago.  His right-leaning opinions have often been the swing vote for touchstone conservative issues throughout the years.

As the members of the Supreme Court have grown older in tenure, the right to pick replacements has loomed large on the national political stage.

David Stras first came to the national stage in 2010 when he was appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court by then Governor Tim Pawlenty.


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