The search for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's replacement has begun. President Donald Trump said Wednesday he'll choose a replacement from "an excellent list" of 25 candidates.
Kennedy, 81, announced his retirement Wednesday after three decades on the court, giving Trump a chance to solidify a conservative majority on the high court. Doing so was one of his campaign promises in 2016. His confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch last year was considered a key victory by anti-abortion groups and other conservatives.
Take a look at some of the judges who are candidates on Trump's list. More photos will be added as they become available.
Charles Canady is a justice of the Florida Supreme Court. A former Florida congressman, Canady was the prime sponsor of the first congressional effort to ban the procedure abortion opponents call "partial birth abortion." He also served as general counsel to former Florida Gov. and onetime Trump rival Jeb Bush, according to a biography from the conservative Federalist Society think tank.
Steven Colloton of Iowa is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit who was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2003. Educated at Princeton and Yale universities, Colloton is a former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of Iowa and clerked for former Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
Allison Eid of Colorado was confirmed as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in November 2017.
Before that she was a justice on the Colorado Supreme Court since 2006. Educated at the University of Chicago, Eid is a former state solicitor general and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Thomas Hardiman went to the University of Notre Dame as the first person in his family to go to college. He financed his law degree at the Georgetown University Law Center by driving a taxi. He became a federal district judge at 37 and was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in 2007. He turns 53 on July 8.
Hardiman has sided with jails seeking to strip-search inmates arrested for even minor offenses and has supported gun rights. He dissented in a 2013 case that upheld a New Jersey law to strengthen requirements for carrying a handgun in public. A Massachusetts native, Hardiman settled in Pittsburgh, where his wife comes from a family of prominent Democrats.
Joan Larsen of Michigan serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Before she was nominated by Trump and confirmed last year, she was a Michigan Supreme Court justice since 2015. She is a former law professor, and received her law degree from Northwestern University.
Earlier in her career, Larsen was assistant attorney general in the Justice Department and clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia. After Scalia's death, she wrote that Scalia's passing "leaves a giant void in the court and in the intellectual discourse over the law. It is difficult to imagine anyone filling the gap."
William Pryor Jr.
A judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit from Mobile, Alabama, William Pryor Jr. is a former attorney general of the state and an alumnus of Northeast Louisiana University and Tulane University law school. In 2003, Pryor called for the removal of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who had refused a federal court order to remove the Ten Commandments from a judicial building. Trump backed Moore in a Senate race last year despite charges of sexual misconduct with young women. Moore lost the race.
President Bush nominated Pryor to the federal appellate court in 2004. President Barack Obama named him to the U.S. Sentencing Commission in 2013. Pryor is 56.
Diane Sykes of Wisconsin serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. She was appointed to the post by President Bush in 2003 and confirmed the following year. She is a former state Supreme Court judge and received her law degree from Marquette University.
Don Willett was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in December 2017, receiving his commission in January 2018.
He previously served as a justice on the Supreme Court of Texas from 2005 to 2017. Willett is a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department and received his law and master's degrees from Duke University.
In March 2016 Willett took a swipe at Trump's conservatism, tweeting: "Can't wait till Trump rips off his face Mission Impossible-style & reveals a laughing Ruth Bader Ginsburg."