President Donald Trump named Missouri's junior U.S. senator one of his top choices to fill a Supreme Court vacancy in a second term Wednesday, but it's not clear he could follow through.


Just hours after Trump announced 20 additions to a running list of potential nominees Wednesday, Sen. Josh Hawley said he has "no interest in the high court."


"I appreciate the President's confidence in listing me as a potential Supreme Court nominee," Hawley wrote in a tweet. "But as I told the President, Missourians elected me to fight for them in the Senate."


Hawley, a Yale Law graduate who taught constitutional law at the University of Missouri-Columbia, has experience with the court.


He clerked for Chief Justice John Roberts and made a name for himself among conservatives with his work on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, a 2014 case that saw the court allow a private employer to refuse to offer health insurance with birth control coverage if doing so would go against the employer's religious convictions.


He has also been a prominent critic of the court following a string of left-leaning decisions this summer, including rulings that extended workplace discrimination protections to LGBTQ workers and struck down abortion restrictions in Lousiana.


He's since vowed to oppose any Supreme Court nominee that doesn't believe Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to abortion, was wrongly decided.


Hawley wasn't the only prominent GOP lawmaker getting name-checked Wednesday.


Firebrand Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Ted Cruz of Texas were also on the list, and both appeared considerably more receptive to the idea of a lifetime appointment to the high court.


Cotton released a statement saying he was honored to be considered and would "always heed the call of service to our nation" before tweeting about the need to nix Roe v. Wade and further protect Second Amendment rights and religious freedom.


Cruz of Texas also tweeted he was "humbled & deeply honored" to be on the list and then pointed out that he spent the summer writing a book called "One Vote Away: How a Single Supreme Court Seat Can Change History."


The book, he tweeted, tells "the inside story of how our constitutional liberties hang in the balance."


Others on the list include Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau, and a number of conservative judges, including Sarah Pitlyk, an anti-abortion attorney recently confirmed as a federal judge for Missouri's Eastern District in St. Louis.


ahuguelet@news-leader.com


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