Supreme Court Nominee List Shortens to Mostly 'Identical' Candidates

Toby Graves
July 9, 2018

The US President interviewed seven candidates from his master list of 25 judges, the White House said.

One Trump adviser said the president is unlikely to expand his list in the coming days but could follow up by phone with some of the candidates, all of whom have been asked to fill out disclosure forms dealing with their finances and conduct.

The source told Reuters that Amy Coney Barrett of IN, a judge on the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, was still IN contention but that the Republican president had been asking more questions about the other two, who have more extensive judicial records.

"I think I have it down to four people", the president said aboard Air Force One. She was unafraid to break with GOP orthodoxy on issues like health care, leading to the possibility she does the same on a Supreme Court nominee she might deem too textualist or conservative. Some conservatives have been lobbying against him, worrying that his upbringing in the suburbs of Washington could mean he's the kind of justice who has disappointed conservatives before. "I have it down to four people, and I think, of the four people, I have it down to three or two", he told reporters. We are calling for a "personal liberty standard", that the Senate must only confirm a justice who affirmatively declares that they believe the Constitution protects individual liberty and the right of all people to make personal decisions about their bodies and their personal relationships, including the right to use contraception, the right to have an abortion, and the freedom to marry who you choose.

Mr Thapar was on the shortlist of candidates after judge Antonin Scalia died in 2016.

Hardiman is now a judge for the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.

NBC, which only has American Ninja Warrior's Minneapolis qualifiers booked for this Monday, has yet to announce any tweaks to its line-up, while Fox as has been the case this summer has a disposable 9-1-1 rerun airing at 9 pm. Then previous year, Senate Democrats filibustered Neil Gorsuch forcing Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to change the rules and now Trump's next pick will only require 50 votes to be confirmed.

Trump could decide (decide not announce) sooner rather than later, as early as Friday, though the official announcement is still slated for Monday.

The eventual nominee will only need 50 votes to be confirmed, thanks to rules adopted by Senate leadership in 2017. Former clerk for Justice Kennedy provides insight.

Barrett's profile rose rapidly a year ago with conservative groups after her confirmation hearing featured questioning from Democrats over how her Roman Catholic faith would affect her decisions. And Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, have set themselves up as key swing votes.

"She said, 'I just saw you on TV!"

Kethledge was nominated to his current post by then-president George W. Bush.

The vacancy left by Kennedy's retirement gives Trump a second opportunity to re-shape the high court.

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