Tags: Donald Trump | Supreme Court | judge | Antonin Scalia | Thomas Hardiman | SCOTUS

Is Judge Thomas Hardiman Next in Line for SCOTUS?

Is Judge Thomas Hardiman Next in Line for SCOTUS?

Judge Thomas Hardiman, federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit. (AP)

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Thursday, 02 February 2017 08:38 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Now that the nomination to replace Antonin Scalia has been settled — Appeals Court Judge Neil Gorsuch landed the role — there is speculation Judge Thomas Hardiman will be tapped as the next nominee in the event a selection is necessary.

Given the substantive backing Judge Hardiman (of the 3rd Circuit) received from conservatives that helped make him a finalist to Gorsuch, there is already mounting speculation he will be on deck for the White House if Justice Anthony Kennedy, 80, decides to retire at the end of the court's term this year.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer insisted he did not "want to get in front of the president. [But Hardiman] continues to have the president's support; somebody who the president was unbelievably impressed with. So, we'll have to see what vacancies come down the pike."

"He's an impressive, impressive jurist," Spicer told me Wednesday.  "Obviously the four that really made that final list for the president were impressive."

Along with Gorsuch and Hardiman, the final four for Trump to consider included Appellate Judges Bill Pryor of Alabama and Wisconsin’s Diane Sykes.

Hours before Trump made the Gorsuch announcement Tuesday night, we spoke to former Pennsylvania Senator and past Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum about his vigorous support of Hardiman for the high court.

"I spoke to President Trump back in December, before he even took office, about Tom," Santorum said. "And I spoke to Mike Pence, Jeff Sessions, Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, and [Trump political operative] Dave Bossie."

Santorum has known Hardiman since they were both active in Allegheny County, Pa., Republican politics in the late 1980s. As senator, he played a pivotal role in securing Hardiman's appointment to both the U.S. District Court and Court of Appeals under President George W. Bush.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Now that the nomination to replace Antonin Scalia has been settled – Appeals Court Judge Neil Gorsuch landed the role – there is speculation Judge Thomas Hardiman will be tapped as the next nominee in the event a selection is necessary.
judge, Antonin Scalia, Thomas Hardiman, SCOTUS
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2017-38-02
Thursday, 02 February 2017 08:38 AM
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