President Trump has made it clear that making a Supreme Court nomination is something that will be done very early on in his presidency. Previously, President Trump had tweeted that the pick would be made this coming Thursday.
Last week, reports surfaced that President Trump had narrowed his shortlist down to three potential judges from his original list of 21. The finalists were revealed to be federal appeals court judges Neil Gorsuch, William Pryor, and Thomas Hardiman. At the time, Gorsuch, who USA Today described as a loyal believer in the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s philosophy of originalism, was beginning to emerge as the frontrunner.
President Trump says he’ll announce his Supreme Court pick Tuesday night: https://t.co/zmWU1hNSEN
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) January 30, 2017
Also, in an interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News last week, President Trump revealed that, in his mind, he had all but made his decision.
“I have made my decision pretty much in my mind, yes,” President Trump told Sean Hannity. “It’s subject to change at the last moment, but, I think, this will be a great choice.”
Now, in a tweet sent out on Monday morning, President Trump announced that he has made an official decision, and he will be revealing his pick on Tuesday, January 31 at 8 p.m EST. He also revealed that the announcement will be made live from the White House.
I have made my decision on who I will nominate for The United States Supreme Court. It will be announced live on Tuesday at 8:00 P.M. (W.H.)
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 30, 2017
According to CNN, an aide claims that the decision to announce the pick at 8 p.m. on Tuesday night was President Trump’s proposal. The reasoning is that it will likely “draw in a larger audience” than it would if President Trump were to make the announcement earlier in the day.
In order for a Supreme Court nomination to get through the Senate, a 60-vote majority is required. The Republicans currently have a 52-seat majority in the Senate, meaning that bipartisan support would be necessary in order to reach the 60-vote threshold.
In an interview with CNN, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed that he and other Democrats would resist against any Supreme Court nominee that they find to be “out of the mainstream.” However, President Trump said in his interview with Sean Hannity that he would be open to having Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell use the “nuclear option” if his pick is filibustered by Democrats.
Using the nuclear option would create the possibility of a simple majority of 51 votes being enough to confirm a Supreme Court pick, according to the Washington Examiner. President Trump also spoke about how some of his cabinet selections, such as Alabama Senator and attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions, are currently being held up by Democrats.
“Yes, I would,” President Trump told Sean Hannity when asked if he would consider having Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell use the nuclear option. “We have obstructionists… what they did to Jeff Sessions, who’s a great man, and a wonderful man, and then they delayed it another week, because they have a one-week delay option — that’s not fair to a man.”
In addition to soon nominating a new Supreme Court Justice, President Trump has been quite busy since being sworn into office as the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017.
— News 19 WLTX (@WLTX) January 30, 2017
President Trump has signed executive orders to kickstart the process of building the southern border wall he had promised throughout the campaign, and he has also issued an executive order to temporally halt immigration from seven majority Muslim countries. However, President Trump’s recent actions have also been met with opposition. Mexico continues to insist that it will not pay for the wall, and President Trump’s immigration ban has sparked protests and sharp response from critics.
The Supreme Court currently has three conservative voices in Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Samuel Alito, and Justice Clarence Thomas. President Trump’s list of 21 potential Supreme Court nominees revealed his commitment to putting a fourth conservative voice on the court to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]