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Trump narrows down Supreme Court nominee list to 3

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Judges William Pryor, left, Neil Gorsuch and Thomas Hardiman. The three men are leading contenders for the Supreme Court vacancy.

WASHINGTON >> President Donald Trump has narrowed his choice to fill the Supreme Court vacancy to three judges and said he expects to make his decision in the coming days.

A person familiar with the selection process said that the three judges, all white men who sit on federal appeals courts, were on the list of 21 potential high court picks Trump announced during the presidential campaign.

The leading contenders — who all have met with Trump — are William Pryor, Neil Gorsuch and Thomas Hardiman, the person said, speaking anonymously because he was not authorized to speak publicly about internal decisions.

Pryor, 54, is an Alabama-based judge on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Gorsuch, 49, is on the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and Hardiman, 51, sits on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Pittsburgh. All three were nominated by President George W. Bush for their current posts.

Trump has promised to seek someone in the mold of conservative icon Antonin Scalia, who died nearly a year ago after serving on the Supreme Court for more than 29 years. Senate Republicans prevented President Barack Obama from filling the seat, a political gamble that paid off when Trump was elected.

Trump was scheduled to meet later Tuesday with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Dianne Feinstein to discuss the court vacancy. McConnell wrote on Twitter, “I appreciate his soliciting our advice.” Trump said he plans to announce his choice next week.

McConnell led the Senate in refusing to even to consider Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to take Scalia’s seat, announcing on the night that Scalia died that the vacancy should be filled not by Obama, but by the next president.

Schumer, D-N.Y., said last week on CNN that the Democrats would inevitably push back against anyone Trump nominates for the Supreme Court.

“It’s hard for me to imagine a nominee that Donald Trump would choose that would get Republican support, that we could support,” he said.

Of the three leading candidates, only Pryor faced significant opposition to his appellate nomination. Senate Democrats refused to allow a vote on Pryor’s nomination, leading Bush initially to give Pryor a temporary recess appointment. In 2005, the Senate confirmed him 53-45, after senators reached an agreement to curtail delaying tactics for appellate judgeships.

Gorsuch was approved by a voice vote in 2006. Schumer and Feinstein were among the 95 senators who voted for Hardiman’s confirmation in 2007. Hardiman is a colleague of Trump’s sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry.

Trump praised the candidates on his roster after signing several executive actions on Tuesday in the Oval Office. “We have outstanding candidates,” the president said. “And we’ll pick a truly great Supreme Court justice.”

He said he would be making a decision this week, and announcing it next week.

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    • Imagine a world where Waldo Clinton won the electoral college. She’d be nominating supreme court justices in the mold of Ruth “bad girl” Ginsburg. Waldo would have been able to tip the court solidly to the left for a generation and solidify Barry Hussein’s America hating Marxist agenda; more climate change nonsense, continuing destruction of the nuclear family, advancement of the destructive and demoralizing welfare state, racial division and much more. Alas, Waldo was soundly beaten and has been confined to the dustbin of history. Now DJT will pack the courts with solid traditional jurists stopping the progressives dead in their tracks. Gotta’ love it.

  • THIS was indeed one of the major issues, some say THE major issue, during last year’s presidential campaign. Because of the lifetime appointment and the likelihood of Trump placing 2-3 judges during his presidency he could impact this country far beyond his 4 or 8 years no matter effective his opposition is in getting their act together. Democrats really screwed up in nominating such a poor candidate (Clinton) as almost any other reasonable candidate would likely have won.

  • Here is a tidbit:

    POTUS DJT older sister Judge Maryanne Trump Barry is an attorney and a senior judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

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