(THE ABOVE VIDEO WILL SHOW TRUMP’S SUPREME COURT ANNOUNCEMENT WHEN IT GOES LIVE AT 8 pm EST)
After months of anticipation, President Donald Trump will be announcing his pick for the United State Supreme Court at 8 p.m. on Tuesday. We will be providing a live video on this page when the announcement begins. Trump decided to make the primetime announcement earlier than expected and in the middle of a tumultuous first ten days. Trump’s two top contenders, Neil Gorsuch, and Thomas Hardiman, are both federal judges.
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
Judge Thomas Hardiman currently serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Don’t expect the court’s ideological balance to change much. Scalia was a conservative jurist. So is Hardiman. Then again, he’s harder to pin down on issues than the other possible nominees, at least on hot button issues like women’s reproductive rights. A ScotusBlog profile from Jan. 23 called him a “solid, although hardly knee-jerk, conservative who was active in Republican politics before joining the federal bench.” They said he has yet to directly weigh in on abortion, while The Advocate pointed out his judicial stance on LGBT rights has “yet to surface.”
Second Amendment enthusiasts will probably like this potential. He dissented in 2013’s Drake v. Filko, arguing that a New Jersey law couldn’t require a “justifiable need” for handgun permits. Hardiman also wrote the opinion in 2016’s Binderup v. Attorney General which protected guns rights for those convicted of nonviolent felonies. He is also a favorite of Trump’s sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry.
Judge Neil Gorsuch is best known for upholding religious rights in court battles involving the Affordable Health Care Act (aka Obamacare). Gorsuch was appointed to the federal bench by President George W. Bush in 2006 as a member of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.
According to SCOTUSblog, Gorsuch “is celebrated as a keen legal thinker and a particularly incisive legal writer, with a flair that matches — or at least evokes — that of the justice whose seat he would be nominated to fill.” In fact, in a study called Searching for Justice Scalia: Measuring the ‘Scalia-ness’ of the Next Potential Member of the U.S. Supreme Court, Gorsuch earned high marks in several categories important to the late Justice Scalia, including “originalism” and “textualism.” Like Scalia, Gorsuch has gained notoriety for his lively judicial writing style.