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Donald Trump releases list of 11 possible Supreme Court nominees

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has released a list of 11 potential Supreme Court justices he plans to vet to fill the seat of late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Forty-five days after nominating Merrick Garl... 03:00

Trump's picks include Steven Colloton of Iowa, Allison Eid of Colorado and Raymond Gruender of Missouri.

Also on the list are: Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, Raymond Kethledge of Michigan, Joan Larsen of Michigan, Thomas Lee of Utah, William Pryor of Alabama, David Stras of Minnesota, Diane Sykes of Wisconsin and Don Willett of Texas.

Of the eleven names on Trump's list, most are the types that frequently come up on Republican court wish lists. All serve either as judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals (Colloton, Gruender, Hardiman, Kethledge, Pryor and Sykes) or as justices on their respective states' Supreme Courts (Eid, Larsen, Lee, Stras, Willett).

Two of the names on the list, Sykes and Pryor, are judges Trump named back in February as possible replacements for Scalia. (Sykes is the former wife of Cruz supporter and Wisconsin conservative radio host Charlie Sykes, with whom Trump has tussled during the GOP primary.)

Perhaps the most colorful name on the list is Willett, the Texas Supreme Court justice with an active Twitter habit (he describes himself in his Twitter bio as the state's "Twitter Laureate"). In addition to his frequent Vines, gifs and Bitmojis, Willett rode bulls in the rodeo as a young man.

In a June 2015 tweet -- not even a year before he made Trump's shortlist -- Willett tweeted what may have been a prescient haiku about the GOP businessman's likely Supreme Court picks, saying he "weeps" thinking about it:

Willett also slammed Trump as a liberal in disguise.

Trump said in March he planned to release the list to ease concerns about his conservative credentials in the Republican primary.

He said then the list would include judges "that everybody respects, likes and totally admires" and "great conservative judges, great intellects, the people that you want."

Conservatives are cautiously praising the list -- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley called it an "impressive" collection of people.

"Mr. Trump has laid out an impressive list of highly qualified jurists, including Judge Colloton from Iowa, who understand and respect the fundamental principle that the role of the courts is limited and subject to the Constitution and the rule of law," he said in a statement. "Understanding the types of judges a presidential nominee would select for the Supreme Court is an important step in this debate so the American people can have a voice in the direction of the Supreme Court for the next generation."

And the Judicial Crisis Network's chief counsel and policy director, Carrie Severino, said a statement that all the names on the list "seem to share in common a record of putting the law and the Constitution ahead of their political preferences."

"It is also heartening to see so many Midwesterners and state court judges on the list -- they would bring a valuable perspective to the bench, particularly since they have already served on a court of last resort in their own states," Severino continued, congratulating Trump for his choices.

CBS News' Emily Schultheis and Major Garrett contributed to this report

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