President Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia will be announced tonight, in prime time, at 8pm EST. During the campaign, Mr. Trump released a list of 21 potential nominees. That list has been whittled down to the two or maybe three finalists.
The three reported to be on the final list are Judge Thomas Hardiman of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Neil Gorsuch of the 11th Circuit, and Judge William Pryor of the 5th Circuit. Of those three, Judge Pryor is considered to be the most contentious choice as he was barely confirmed when appointed to the Court of Appeals. He is also a protegee’ of Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions.
According to CNN, Judges Hardiman and Gorsuch have been brought to Washington which would seem to indicate it is now down to those two.
The SCOTUS Blog has done a good job of summarizing the background of the three finalists.
UPDATE: Politico and Independent Journal Review are reporting that “Trump insiders” have confirmed that Judge Neil Gorsuch will get the nod. We’ll see.
UPDATE II: Interesting trivia on Judge Gorsuch – his mother was Ronald Reagan’s first head of the EPA, Anne Gorsuch, who was forced out of office over a House contempt citation pertaining to toxic waste clean-up records. She was never charged with a crime despite allegations.