During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump famously put out a list of judges he would consider for the Supreme Court if he were elected.

The list served both to assure conservatives and also to motivate Republican voters. It’s widely agreed that the Supreme Court specifically, and the federal judiciary more generally, were key factors in Trump’s victory.

As we have covered dozens of times, Trump has followed through on his promises with Gorsuch and Kavanaugh for SCOTUS, and a strong remaking of the Court of Appeal and increasingly, District Court.

Democrats seem to like the idea of a list, and are putting one together. The NY Times reports:

… liberal activists, hoping for a chance to offset the growing conservative presence in the courts, have identified a pool of potential judicial vacancies that could remain out of Mr. Trump’s reach — scores of seats held by veteran judges appointed by Democrats who may be biding their time, awaiting the outcome of the 2020 presidential race….

“It is essential to be ready on Day 1 of a new administration with names to fill every vacancy,” said Nan Aron, the president of the Alliance for Justice, the 40-year-old liberal judicial advocacy group. “This is to start identifying people so the new president won’t waste a minute in addressing this need.”

The initiative is called Building the Bench, and the Alliance for Justice is being joined in underwriting and supporting it by a number of other liberal advocacy groups and labor unions. A group of more than 30 law professors and lawyers will serve as an advisory board….

Unlike the unprecedented Trump list, the liberal groups do not intend to make their recommendations public — they see them more as a guide for a potential Democratic administration.

Wait, what, they’re putting together a list but refusing to name names.

Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network, which has been active in backing Trump’s nominees, tweeted:

Shocking @nytimes story reveals left wing dark money groups working with Democrat pres candidates on a secret list of nominees for SCOTUS. Why are they hiding this list? Why are they scared to show the American people the kind of judges they want? #SecretList #StopHiding

@realdonaldtrump had no problem revealing his list of potential judicial noms. He made it public, campaigned on it, & let the American people see the kind of judges he would appoint. Why are left wing dark money groups and Dems not willing to do same? What are they hiding?

These left wing dark money groups and their Dem allies are trying to expand the number of justices on #SCOTUS. They want to pack the Court, and aren’t even willing to tell the American people who they are going to pack the courts with. What are they hiding? #SecretList

https://twitter.com/JCNSeverino/status/1138180348251189249

Building The Bench website is fundraising off their secret list:

https://org2.salsalabs.com/o/6539/p/salsa/donation/common/public/?donate_page_KEY=16092

There’s nothing wrong with Democrats putting together a list of potential judicial nominees. But it also makes sense to follow the Trump example of transparency.

That’s the argument made by Mike Davis, formerly counsel to the Republican Senate Judiciary Committee members:

When we are talking about judges and judicial philosophy, conservatives and other right-thinking Americans are on our strongest footing. At @Article3Project, we welcome this debate with The Left. But why are they scared to tell us who is on their secret list of potential judges?

https://twitter.com/mrddmia/status/1137377133012168709