Trump Set to Announce His Supreme Court Pick Tonight

President Trump this week said he would announce his nominee for U.S. Supreme Court justice Tuesday night, replacing the vacancy left by the late Antonin Scalia.

The court has had only eight justices since Scalia's unexpected death last February. President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to the bench in May, but Senate Republicans denied him a vote, arguing that because the vacancy occurred during an election year, the next president should be the one to pick Scalia’s replacement.

Judge Neil Gorsuch, 49, of the 10th Circuit, and 3rd Circuit Judge Thomas Hardiman, 51, top Trump’s short list of potential Supreme Court nominees, according to officials with knowledge of the decision.

The decision is expected to be announced tonight at 8 p.m. ET from the White House, said Trump.

The president said he chose a "person who is unbelievably highly respected and I think you will be very impressed with this person," during a meeting with small business owners on Monday.

Trump has pledged to appoint a strict conservative, someone with the same judicial philosophy as Scalia.

On Monday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that Trump is "100 percent sure he's the pick." Spicer also said that the nominee is part of the list that the president already put out. Spicer declined to elaborate further during the daily press briefing.

Here's more on the two front-runners:

Gorsuch

Gorsuch, 49, is currently a judge on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. He was nominated by President George Bush in 2006 and confirmed by the Senate in a voice vote.

Gorsuch clerked for Judge David B. Sentelle on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and then for Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. He attended Harvard Law and has a Ph.D. from Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar. In legal circles, he’s considered a gifted writer. Like Scalia, he's both a textualist and an originalist.

He is the author of "The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia," which looks at the legal and ethical issues surrounding assisted suicides. In the book, he concludes that any form of euthanasia should not be legalized.

If nominated and confirmed, Gorsuch would be the first Supreme Court justice to serve alongside his former boss -- a justice for whom he/she clerked.

He would also be the youngest Supreme Court nominee in about 25 years.

Hardiman

As a young man, Hardiman drove a taxi for his family’s business. Hardiman, who grew up in Massachusetts, attended Notre Dame on a scholarship and received his J.D. from Georgetown University. He practiced law in Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh. He served as a judge in Philadelphia on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit since 2007.

That’s the same court where Trump’s sister Maryanne Trump Barry is a senior judge.

He was nominated to the bench by George W. Bush.



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