President Donald Trump said Tuesday morning that he plans to announce his nominee to fill the empty seat on the Supreme Court next week. "I appreciate his soliciting our advice".
He is scheduled to meet with Senate leaders on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the seat, which has been open for almost a year following the February 13 death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that Trump has invited him, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and the committee's ranking Democrat, Sen.
"I'll be making my decision this week". That could lead to a showdown about Senate rules.
Pryor, now a Judge for the 11 Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, met with Trump in NY earlier in the month.
During the campaign, Trump circulated lists of potential Scalia successors, vowing to pick someone who holds similar conservative views.
Schumer has refused to comment publicly on specific names from Trump's larger list but has said a couple of times that Senate Democrats will oppose anyone they consider to be "out of the mainstream" without explaining exactly what that is. The vacancy regularly came up during the presidential race and is said to be an early priority for the Trump administration.
"It's hard for me to imagine a nominee that Donald Trump would choose that would get Republican support, that we could support", he said.
William Pryor, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit; Diane Sykes, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; and Raymond Kethledge, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, are reportedly top contenders.
Hardiman is a solid, although hardly knee-jerk, conservative who was active in Republican politics before joining the federal bench, and his jurisprudence as a Supreme Court justice likely would be closer to another justice who hails from the 3rd Circuit: Justice Samuel Alito.