Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump unveiled Wednesday his revamped list of potential Supreme Court justices that includes 20 new names, including Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

Why it matters: Top aides and advisers to the president urged him months ago to put together a new list of justices ahead of Election Day to pump up his base and remind them why a Republican needs to remain in the White House.

What they're saying: Cotton said in a statement that he was "honored" by the selection and added that he believes "the Supreme Court could use some more justices who understand the difference between applying the law and making the law."

  • Cruz said in a statement that he is "grateful for the president’s confidence in me and for his leadership in nominating principled constitutionalists to the federal bench."
  • Hawley tweeted that he has "no interest in the high court" and will "look forward to confirming constitutional conservatives" as a member of the Senate.

The other additions:

  • Bridget Bade, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Paul Clement, partner with Kirkland & Ellis LLP
  • Stuart Kyle Duncan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Steven Engel, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel
  • Noel Francisco, former U.S. solicitor general
  • James Ho, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Gregory Katsas, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • Barbara Lagoa, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • Christopher Landau, U.S. ambassador to Mexico
  • Carlos Muñiz, Supreme Court of Florida
  • Martha Pacold, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • Peter Phipps, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • Sarah Pitlyk, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
  • Allison Jones Rushing, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • Kate Todd, deputy White House counsel
  • Lawrence VanDyke, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

What we're hearing: Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who has long been viewed in Trumpworld as next in line to fill a vacancy on the bench, is still at the top of the list after her inclusion on Trump's original list, along with Judge Amul Thapar and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).

  • Many within the conservative movement have been lobbying the Trump administration to give more consideration to Lee, especially after his performance fiercely defending the Constitution during Trump's impeachment proceedings, one source familiar with the discussions tells Axios.

Behind the scenes: The list's release was originally slated to take place prior to the Republican National Convention — providing another talking point for Trump's re-election campaign.

  • White House Counsel Pat Cipollone played a big role in the creation of the list, sources involved in the process tell Axios.

The bottom line: "The list is a political statement as much as a working document," one of the sources said. “You're trying to create as many touch points as possible to people who you want to re-elect him as president, and energize them to help him get re-elected."

  • "But secondly, it is a working document, in the sense that he’s making a commitment to pick from the list, so you can't just throw it to the political wind. You have to be committed to only putting people on the list that you’ll be comfortable appointing to the court.”

Go deeper

Scoop: Trump lawyers to avoid Michigan lawmaker meeting after COVID exposure

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Rudy Giuliani and other key members of President Trump's outside legal team won't be attending today's meeting with two Michigan lawmakers because they've been exposed to the coronavirus, two sources familiar with the internal discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: This added turmoil inside the president's legal operation comes at a time when the president is urging Republican state lawmakers to interfere with the electoral process and reverse Joe Biden's victory to a Trump win.

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
5 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.