2 possible picks for President Trump's Supreme Court nominee

President Donald Trump plans to announce his pick for the next justice on the Supreme Court at 7 p.m. Tuesday night.

The justice will fill the ninth chair that has been open sine the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Washington chatter suggests Trump will likely nominate one of the following:


Judge Thomas Hardiman, 51, works for the 3rd Circuit Court in Pittsburgh. Hardiman graduated from the University of Notre Dame and received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. If confirmed to the Supreme Court, Hardiman would be the only justice without a law degree from an Ivy League law school.

Hardiman, a conservative who was involved in Republican politics before joining the bench, has authored opinions with a broad view of the Second Amendment. In an interesting First Amendment case, Hardiman dissented from an opinion in favor of students wearing “I [Heart] Boobies” bracelets to raise awareness about breast cancer. In the dissent, Hardiman wrote the bracelets “fall into a gray area between speech that is plainly lewd and merely indecorous.”

Trump’s sister is a judge on the 3rd Circuit with Hardiman.


Judge Neil Gorsuch, 49, works on the 10th Circuit Court in Denver. Gorsuch graduated from Harvard Law School.

Gorsuch is often compared to Justice Scalia; he is a textualist and is known for writing entertaining opinions.

In the important Hobby Lobby case, Gorsuch sided with the business that did not want to pay for employees’ birth control as part of the Affordable Care Act. The case was upheld by the Supreme Court.

Known for his strong writing, Gorsuch once diagramed a statute in his opinion, writing “the details are full of devils.”


Judge William Pryor, who works on the 11th Circuit, has also been floated as a possible pick. But, many believe controversial decisions would cause his nomination to receive strong opposition from both liberals and conservatives. Judge Diane Sykes, who works on the 7th Circuit, has also been mentioned.


To stop a filibuster, the nominee would need 60 votes in the Senate, and Democrats have indicated their intent to filibuster — still angry at Republicans for refusing to vote on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland. President Trump said he supports use of the “nuclear option,” requiring only a simple majority, if democrats filibuster.