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

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died of metastatic pancreatic cancer at age 87, the Supreme Court announced Friday evening.

The big picture: Ginsburg had suffered from serious health issues over the past few years. As an attorney and then as a justice Ginsburg cemented a legacy as one of the foremost champions of women's rights, raising gender equality to a constitutional issue. Her death sets up a fight over filling a Supreme Court seat with less than 50 days until the election.

Mike Allen, author of AM
Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' Armageddon option

A makeshift memorial outside the Supreme Court yesterday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Furious Democrats are considering total war — profound changes to two branches of government, and even adding stars to the flag — if Republicans jam through a Supreme Court nominee then lose control of the Senate.

On the table: Adding Supreme Court justices ... eliminating the Senate's 60-vote threshold to end filibusters ... and statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico. "If he holds a vote in 2020, we pack the court in 2021," Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) tweeted.

A court fight for the ages

The flag flies at half-staff as people mourn on the Supreme Court steps last night. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Ruth Bader Ginsburg — feminist icon, legal giant, toast of pop culture — left this statement with granddaughter Clara Spera as cancer closed in: "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."

The big picture: For all that the nation owes "Notorious RBG" — the hip-hop-inspired nickname she enjoyed and embraced — Republicans are planning to do their best to be sure her robe is quickly filled, despite that last wish, with her ideological polar opposite.