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Colloton '85 shortlisted as Trump's potential Supreme Court Justice

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Judge Colloton sits on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and his chambers are in Des Moines, Iowa.

Colloton did not respond to a request for comment. Media representatives from Trump’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

According to Ryan Koopmans, an attorney who once clerked for Judge Colloton on the Eighth Circuit, most of the cases Colloton deals with are federal criminal cases.

“He’s dedicated to the rule of law, and he brings that dedication to every case — whether it’s a technical statutory matter or a politically sensitive constitutional question,” Koopmans said.

Colloton has authored numerous decisions during his 13 years on the court, most notably siding with religious institutions that refused to provide contraception coverage mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

Koopmans noted that Colloton takes a certain pride in his work, which he attributes to his Iowa upbringing. He added that Colloton works long hours to carefully craft judicial opinions and gives each case the legal attention it deserves.


“The truly exceptional judges, like Judge Colloton, do what they do because it’s who they are,” Koopmans said. “It’s why he’s one of the most respected judges in the country.”

Colloton graduated from West High School in Iowa City, and attended the University from 1981 to 1985. He graduated with a degree from the Wilson School, where he wrotehissenior thesis,"State All-Payer Systems and Intergovernmental Relations in Health Care Cost Control."

He then attended Yale Law School. While an editorof the Yale Law Journal, Colloton authored a paper questioning the legal grounds of Sally Frank’s lawsuit against single-gender eating clubs.After graduating in 1988, he clerked for Judge Laurence Silberman of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. From 1989 to 1990, he served as a clerk to William Rehnquist, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

In 1990, Colloton joined the United States Justice Department as a special assistant to the attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel. The Office of Legal Counsel assists the U.S. Attorney General, the President of the United States and executive agencies in legal matters.

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In 1991, Colloton served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa, based in Cedar Rapids, where he worked until 1999. From 1995 to 1996, Colloton worked as an associate independent counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, assisting in the Whitewater investigation.

In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed Colloton to serve as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, which is based in Des Moines.

Iowa Senator Charles Grassley noted in a 2001 press release that Colloton was well-qualified for this position, and added that “he has the necessary experience to effectively serve Iowans as one of the state's lead federal prosecutors."

In 2003, Eighth Circuit Appeals Court judge David Hansenassumed senior status, and Colloton was nominated by former President Bush to fill Hansen’s position. He was confirmed in September 2003, and has maintained chambers in Des Moines since then.


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