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Trump to Name Supreme Court Nominee Tonight (Updated)

Originally planned for later this week, perhaps on Thursday, the announcement of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia will be made on Tuesday evening. Many have speculated that the announcement was moved from Thursday to Tuesday so as to provide something else for the press to talk about other than Trump’s recent executive order concerning travel bans from various terror-sponsoring nations.

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Business Insider reveals some background on one of the finalists who hasn’t gotten much attention, Thomas Hardiman:

Thomas Hardiman, a 51-year-old judge who sits on the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals, has caught the attention of observers to fill the void left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia for several reasons.

With Democrats threatening to block Trump’s Supreme Court pick, it’s noteworthy that Hardiman was voted onto the appeals court in 2007 by a 95-0 tally. Both Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, voted to approve him.

Hardiman also has the backing of Trump’s closest judicial source: his sister.

Maryanne Trump Barry, a fellow 3rd Circuit judge, holds a high opinion of Hardiman. As an adviser who spoke with the president told Politico, “Maryanne is high on Hardiman.”

And those who know the conservative judge say there’s another trait that could be attractive to Trump.

Hardiman wasn’t even on the list I compiled last week, so he enters the mix as sort of a dark horse. It appears that Trump’s decision is being made in large part based on which name will make it through Senate confirmation without the threat of filibuster. On Monday, Senate Democrats appeared poised to filibuster the nominee, no matter which name was submitted. However, they have since backed off that threat:

Democrats are now concerned over the risks of filibustering President Donald Trump’s forthcoming Supreme Court nominee.

Trump announced Monday morning he would present his high court pick Tuesday and Oregon Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley responded that whoever it is, his party would filibuster the nominee.

“This is a stolen seat. This is the first time a Senate majority has stolen a seat,” Merkley said in an interview with Politico Monday. “We will use every lever in our power to stop this.

However, according to CNN, Democrats discussed during a private retreat in West Virginia last week that blocking Trump’s Supreme Court nominee — who would replace the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia — is potentially unwise and it would be better if they saved their big battle over the Supreme Court for when the seat of a more left-leaning justice opens up.

No matter which candidate is nominated, they will face a rigorous grilling over the expected topics like abortion, gun rights, and gay marriage. Other topics will include immigration restrictions, border security, and various civil rights issues. I’d expect many answers which consist of something like, “I cannot comment on a case which may eventually come before the court.”

The announcement is set to come this evening around 8pm ET from the White House.

Update

Multiple sources are claiming that Judge Neil Gorsuch is the pick. This from IJReview.com:

Two high-ranking administration sources have confirmed to Independent Journal Review that President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick is Colorado Judge Neil Gorsuch.

Gorsuch, who recently traveled to Washington, D.C., was put on Trump’s short list for the appointment after he met with the then-president elect after the 2016 election.

Speaking on background, an administration source instrumental to the SCOTUS selection process tells IJR, “Yes. It is Gorsuch. 100 percent. The Hardiman thing is a head fake.” Thomas Hardiman is the other Judge Trump was considering for the vacancy, who is also in Washington, D.C.

A second source within the Trump administration confirmed IJR’s reporting.

The source claims that Judge Gorsuch will join the president Tuesday night at the White House at 8 PM for the announcement.

This could still change obviously since the announcement has yet to be made.

Nate Ashworth :Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.

View Comments (26)

  • When that racist, misogynistic asshole Scalia died in the saddle, I would have thought that it was the hand of God affording Obama or Hillary the opportunity to get the SCOTUS back on track for America. Now it's the proverbial one step forward and two steps back.....

    • Calling judge Scalia the Adjectives you listed tells me you don't have a clue about his achievements. Sad.

      • His "achievements" included denunciation of any social issues affecting minorities, constitutional protection for women, and LGBT rights. I guess I should have added homophobic to racist and misogynist. In short - a total piece-of-shit!

    • Yes. The orange Nazi just keeps getting worse and worse. Anyone who voted for him are reaping what they sow now as he continues to dismantle the constitution and our basic human rights with his mentally unbalanced, racist, misogynist agenda.

        • Hope is not required. It is now abundantly evident by his actions. You will soon realize when you lose money, healthcare and your first amendment rights. Once it hits home, you will realize what a terrible mistake you have made in electing an inept, racist, misogynist despot to power.

    • You are right for a change, everything is in God's hands. It doesn't matter if it is death or for that matter the election of PRESIDENT TRUMP. God must have been concerned about the sinful, decadent path the Looney left was taking the country down.?

      You have the radical fringe of your party for to thank for 4 most likely 8 years of President Trump. During that time, the president will nominate 2 maybe 3 judges to the SCOTUS.?

      • Maybe, if ole #goldenshowers even lasts that long. Even lots of folks on the right are having a serious case of buyers remorse.

        • You are no fool, you know that the establishment of the Republican party was always against Trump. As far as the Democrats go, I know your pain. I had to endure 8 miserable years of the most inept, incompetent and ineffectual president I can remember. I believe his name was Obama.??

          President Trump isn't going anywhere. Now the obstructionist Democrats who are up for reelection in 2018 may get voted out. Keep up delaying the normal workings of the government and your President and you will soon be unemployed!!!?

  • For Republicans, keeping the Supreme Court conservative was more urgent than governance or leadership and God forbid an independent judiciary. The current Supreme Court vacancy should not be Trump’s to fill. This was President Obama’s vacancy. The appointment of Judge Merrick Garland was stolen from him by the Republicans in Congress and they boast of their stolen and this sleazy accomplishment.

    But there always seem to be a payback in other ways. Trump’s visions and actions are very different from those of the Republican leadership. Trump is not going to allow anyone else to give orders on how to run the country so that leave Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell up a creek without a paddle.

  • And the FRWNJs demanding that Scalia's replacement be 'in the mold of Scalia'.

    Antonin Scalia: A man who literally died in the bed of a bribe.

    Yeah guys. Pick another just like him.

    And you call yourselves 'patriots'. Pff.

      • Nate…I know the Progressive Republican is capable of defending himself but I felt the need to chime in.
        When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in a Texas resort, he was staying in a 1,100 square foot, $700 a night room overlooking a lake, that he wasn’t paying for. All courtesy of John Poindexter. This is the same John Poindexter whose case had been before the Supreme Court a few months earlier. Scalia was one of the justices refusing to hear the case. Pouff! Poindexter was off the hook.
        There was no autopsy so we will never know the true cause of Scalia’s death.
        Judges cannot accept anything of value from someone with a case in their court, and they are required to report travel-related reimbursements that total at least $375. Justices, like other judges, have to report income earned from investments and other sources, spousal income, financial liabilities, and reimbursements from outside groups for food, transportation, lodging and entertainment. So the law says. However, good luck trying to determine their income, and from whom, as their taxes are not publicly accessible.

        • I follow what you're saying but in the same post you accuse him of taking a bribe by staying at the resort for free, yet then you explain how he followed the law by recusing himself from the case as he was supposed to.

          If Scalia had heard the case, he'd be violating the law. If he recused himself, as he was supposed to, you're still accusing him of violating the law.

          I'm not defending Scalia here, but I'm pointing out the holes in your theory.

          Also, according to Poindexter himself, nobody has ever been charged to stay at the ranch for the past 22 years:

          Poindexter added: “The Justice was treated no differently by me, as no one was charged for activities, room and board, beverages, etc. That is a 22-year policy.’’

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/02/17/justice-scalias-death-and-questions-about-who-pays-for-supreme-court-justices-to-visit-remote-resorts/?utm_term=.adf718dcacf4

          • Nate…I did not say Judge Scalia recused himself…he did not recluse himself. He voted not to hear the case before the Supreme Court. It was dropped.
            Would a 22 year old policy make something legal? When Poindexter said no one was charged for activities he was talking about the people in Scalia’s group, not the average hotel guest. The ranch, as you call it, is a 5 star luxury guest hotel named Cibolo Creek Ranch, just outside Marfa, Texas. It is a favorite haunt of the rich and famous.

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