When Will Trump's Supreme Court Nominee Be Announced? So Much Hinges On His Decision
Since Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement in late June, rumors have swirled about who will be nominated for the lifetime appointment. After the White House released a list of 25 potential nominees, you might be wondering when Trump's Supreme Court nominee will be announced.
According to the president's own tweet, Trump will share the Supreme Court nominee on Monday at 9 p.m. EST at the White House.
The group of potential nominees are fairly geographically diverse, but skew male. The nominees hail from Indiana, Georgia, Florida, Iowa, Colorado, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Michigan, Utah, Alabama, Virginia, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Texas, and Oklahoma. There are six women on the list. The potential nominees are state supreme court justices, appellate and district court judges, a U.S. senator (and his brother), and a retired state supreme court justice.
The list was composed by the Federalist Society, a group of conservative lawyers interested in advancing conservative ideology and judges who interpret the law with those beliefs in mind. NPR reported Federalist Society executive vice president Leonard Leo took leave from the society to compile this list for Trump. According to Slate, the conservative side of the Supreme Court has included at least one justice within their ranks not tied to the Federalist Society. That will change with Trump's latest appointment. Both Justice Neil Gorsuch — Trump's first appointment — and presumably this coming nominee will be vetted by the Federalist Society, in addition to some other justices appointed by past presidents.
Trump's last Supreme Court nominee announcement was in the East Room of the White House. In January 2017, Trump announced Neil Gorsuch, a federal appeals court judge, as his pick to the Supreme Court. "I took the task of this nomination very seriously. I have selected an individual whose qualities define — really, and I mean closely define — what we’re looking for," Trump said during his remarks. "Judge Gorsuch has outstanding legal skills, a brilliant mind, tremendous discipline and has earned bipartisan support."
The whole announcement — Trump's remarks and Gorsuch's statement afterward — took less than 15 minutes. It's unclear how long Monday night's announcement will take, or if it will deviate from the typical format of the president and nominee speaking.
The Senate confirmed Gorsuch to a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court by a vote of 54-45. Though the vote was almost completely along party lines, Gorsuch earned the votes of Sens. Joe Manchin, Heidi Heitkamp, and Joe Donnelly, according to CNN.
Bloomberg reported that Trump plans to make a final decision on the nominee by Sunday. "I think I have it down to four people and I think of the four people, I have it down to three or two," Trump told reporters on Thursday while on Air Force One. "I think they’re all outstanding. I'll have a decision made in my mind by Sunday."
Bloomberg also reported that at least seven potential nominees have been interviewed, and that the Trump administration wants to have the new justice confirmed before the court starts its next session in the fall.
Three judges — all sitting on the federal appellate courts — are the frontrunners: Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, and Raymond Kethledge, according to the report.
Kavanaugh’s opinions as an appellate judge have been adopted by the justices 11 times, according to a Wall Street Journal opinion piece arguing for Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Since this seat will give conservatives a majority on the Supreme Court, their views on abortion and Roe v. Wade have come under scrutiny. Barrett's views on abortion and her Catholic faith were brought up repeatedly during her confirmation hearing to the bench last year. In 2013, Barrett said Roe was "unlikely" to be overturned because of previous decisions limiting its scope such as Planned Parenthood v. Casey.