According to Mediate, President Donald Trump tweeted earlier today that he would be announcing his appointee for the Supreme Court Justice spot on major news on Monday at 9 p.m. Eastern Time.
“I’m very close to making a final decision. And I believe this person will do a great job,” Trump said. “Let’s say it’s the four people… they’re excellent, every one. You can’t go wrong.”
The four people referenced were not named by Trump, but pundits across various news media have assumed that the four front runners out of a pack of 25 top candidates vetted by conservative groups to replace outgoing Justice Andrew Kennedy include federal appeals judges Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett, and Thomas Hardiman, according to ABC News.
According to WRAL, the White House has been preparing confirmation materials on all four, and White House aides have been ordered to keep all information strictly confidential until Trump’s announcement. Most political experts on both sides of the aisle believe the president’s pick will be much more conservative than Kennedy, and possibly even further to the right than Trump’s other appointee, Neil Gorsuch.
The New York Times reports that Senator Mitch McConnell told President Trump that Judges Kethledge and Hardiman presented the fewest obvious obstacles to being confirmed, and pointed to massive piles of documents turned over by Kavanaugh potentially delaying his confirmation if named. Some speculate Trump may choose Barrett as a conservative foil to female liberal Supreme Court justices.
Trump has played the nomination close to the vest as he did with Gorsuch.
Looking forward to announcing my final decision on the United States Supreme Court Justice at 9:00pmE tomorrow night at the @WhiteHouse. An exceptional person will be chosen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 8, 2018
The Hill reports that Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) commented that Trump is merely “a puppet,” and that the appointed justice will be handpicked by outside groups, including the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation.
“I’ve never seen a president of the United States, in effect, make himself a puppet of outside groups, and choose from a group of right-wing fringe ideologues that are… on this list.”
Meanwhile, CNN says Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) commented he could vote for a Trump Supreme Court pick.
“I’m open to voting yes. I’m open to voting no. We don’t know who the nominee is going to be yet. I don’t think my role is to rubber stamp for the President, but it’s also not an automatic knee-jerk no, either.”
Deadline says multiple broadcast networks are rearranging their schedules to cover Trump’s announcement. Supreme Court justice nominations are not typically revealed during prime time.