President Trump will announce his pick to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia next week.
“I will be making my Supreme Court pick on Thursday of next week. Thank you!” Trump tweeted shortly after 4:00 a.m. Wednesday.
Gorsuch and Hardiman are apparently the frontrunners, while Pryor is increasingly becoming a distant third.
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Recent reports indicate that President Trump has narrowed down his nominee shortlist to just three names: Neil Gorsuch, Thomas Hardiman, and William Pryor.
Gorsuch and Hardiman are apparently the front-runners, while Pryor is increasingly becoming a distant third, people familiar with the selection process told Politico on Tuesday.
Thomas Hardiman is a federal judge on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. Following a successful career as a private practice attorney, Hardiman served as district court judge in Pennsylvania.
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Hardiman was appointed to his current position by George W. Bush in 2007. That year, Hardiman wrote what is perhaps his most well-known ruling, upholding the constitutionality of strip-searching those in jail, regardless of the level of offense they committed. The Supreme Court backed the decision 5-4.
Hardiman held in 2010 hat there was no First Amendment right to film police officers during traffic stops, and in 2013, he wrote a dissent arguing that New Jersey’s requirement that people who wish to purchase a handgun show “justifiable need” was unconstitutional.
Neil Gorsuch is a federal judge on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, a position to which he was appointed by George W. Bush in 2006. Gorsuch, who would be the youngest Supreme Court appointment in decades, is the most “Establishment” choice on Trump’s list — having attended Harvard Law and Oxford and clerked for Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy.
However, some have argued that Gorsuch, who is known to be both a textualist and an originalist — as well as a talented writer — is best-positioned to replace the late Scalia. Gorsuch ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby in Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius.
During an address at a 2013 Federalist Society convention, Gorsuch lamented the treatment of justices who actually wish to follow the letter of the law. “They are mocked, often viciously, personally; leading media voices to call them deceiving,” he noted.
Bill Pryor was appointed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals by George W. Bush in 2003 and assumed office in 2004. Pryor is loathed by liberals for his comments on Roe v. Wade, which he called “the worst abomination of constitutional law.”
But Pryor has also come under fire from conservatives, which may be why he is reportedly at the bottom of Trump’s shortlist. In 2011, he concurred with the majority in Glenn v. Brumby, which allowed trans people to be considered a protected class in matters of workplace discrimination. The concerted chorus of Democrats denouncing Trump’s nominee will be hard enough to overcome without a number of conservatives joining in.