President Donald Trump plans to announce his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court to the nation on Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST. Conservatives are hoping for someone who can replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, considered to be a strong constitutionalist guided by the original intent of the Founders.
However, the Republicans in the Senate have only a slight majority. Trump needs 60 votes for his nominee’s approval and that means some Democrats will have to cross the aisle, the New York Post points out.
Democrats are poised to fight against someone they don’t consider flexible enough in opinions. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., want Trump to choose a “mainstream” judicial nominee, according to The Hill.
Since the death of Scalia last February, the Supreme Court has been split with four liberals and four conservatives. Trump’s nominee will be the major swing vote on the highest court in the land.
Here are five top possibilities for the U.S. Supreme Court vacany:
1. Neil M. Gorsuch — A federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit since 2006 when he was appointed by President George W. Bush, Gorsuch, 49, previously served as an associate attorney general for the U.S. Department of Justice and as a law clerk for Supreme Court justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy, WorldNetDaily.com reported.
2. Thomas Hardiman — The 51-year-old Pennsylvania judge has served on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals since 2007, nominated by Bush and approved by the Senate in a 95-0 vote. He is considered a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and is known for arguing in favor of a county government’s choice to display the Ten Commandments.
3. William Pryor — Currently serving on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Alabama judge, 54, once referred to the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion decision as the "worst abomination in the history of constitutional law."
4. Diane Sykes — After serving on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Sykes, another Bush appointee, now serves the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Conservatives may side with her for upholding Wisconsin’s voter ID law and favoring corporations’ challenges to the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act, according to CNN.
5. Ted Cruz — A Trump opponent during the 2016 GOP presidential nomination campaign, Cruz may be a long shot, but he remains a favorite figure among conservatives. The U.S. Senator from Texas worked as a clerk for Chief Justice William Rehnquist and held the position of Solicitor General of Texas.
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