President Trump announced yesterday that he would be naming his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court next week. The nominee, if confirmed, will fill the seat vacated by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
According to most news sources, the three leading contenders are U.S. Court of Appeals Judges William Pryor (Eleventh Circuit), Neil Gorsuch (Tenth Circuit), and Thomas Hardiman (Third Circuit), all of whom were appointed by former President George W. Bush. Here is Judge Pryor’s resume. Although he is conservative and has been attacked by the left for vocally opposing the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, he has also been attacked by the right for upholding the rights of transgender individuals under Title VII. Judge Gorsuch, who seems to be the “favorite” right now, has Ivy League credentials as well as a solidly conservative background. Here is a link to his resume, and here is a December article about him from the Denver Post, which provides more background. Judge Hardison serves on the Third Circuit with the President’s sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, who has reportedly been helping her brother in narrowing down the list of possible nominees. Here is a link to Judge Hardison’s resume. Notably, all three nominees are in their 50s, which is relatively young for judges and popes: Judge Pryor was born in 1962, Judge Gorsuch was born in 1967, and Judge Hardison was born in 1965.
According to The Wall Street Journal, there is one other judge on President Trump’s short list: Raymond Kethledge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Judge Kethledge is also a GWB appointee in his 50s (born 1966). The Sixth Circuit doesn’t have judges’ resumes on its website, but here is his Wikipedia entry. From an employment law standpoint, Judge Kethledge is perhaps best known for socking it to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in its background-check lawsuit against Kaplan. (Here’s a copy of the actual decision.)
So, next week will be a big one: In addition to learning who the SCOTUS nominee is, Andrew Puzder’s confirmation hearing is currently scheduled for Thursday, February 2. Mr. Puzder is President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Labor. (I guess you already knew that.) Don’t go away!
Image Credit: From flickr, Creative Commons license, by Matt Wade.