Trump Narrows List Of 25 Supreme Court Nominees To Just 5 Candidates

During the presidential campaign in 2016, Donald Trump publically provided a list of 25 prospective candidates he would be considering to replace a Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Now, Trump needs to replace a retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy

The president again took to the 2016 list of 25 individuals and has reportedly cut it down to just five individuals, two are women. As Washington Examiner reports, he described the group as “brilliant, very talented, mostly conservative judges.”

Trump is undoubtedly looking to move quickly on naming Kennedy’s successor so that the Senate can approve of the candidate before the November elections. So, he plans to announce his pick on the Monday after the Fourth of July, giving him some time to still interview the remaining candidates over the patriotic celebrations.

Per Washington Examiner:

President Trump will announce his pick to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court July 9, after interviewing potential nominees this weekend during a trip to his golf course at Bedminster, N.J.

Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on Friday that he had whittled down his list of 25 candidates to about five potential choices, two of whom are women, according to the Associated Press.

Trump said on board Air Force One to a group of reporters, “I’ll be announcing it the Monday after the Fourth of July. I like them all.”

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The president also emphasized the importance of selecting the right person for the lifetime of service.

“Outside of war and peace, of course, the most important decision you make is the selection of a Supreme Court judge, if you get it,” Trump said, as the Independent reports. “As you know, there are many presidents who never get a choice.”

Here’s more on Trump’s process, from the Independent:

President Trump said on Friday that his Supreme Court selection process would begin in earnest on Monday and that he would interview “six or seven” candidates in total. He said he planned to interview one or two of them this weekend in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he is spending time with family at his private golf course.

“I may have two of them come up, like the old days, to Bedminster,” Mr Trump said, referring to the staff and Cabinet interviews he held there in late 2016 during the presidential transition. “It is exciting.”

The president said he was not intending to ask candidates about their positions on Roe v Wade, the landmark abortion rights case that the court decided in 1973.

“That’s not a question I’ll be asking them,” he said.

While no names were shared with the reporters, Washington Examiner reports the candidate front-runners could be federal judges Brett Kavanaugh, Tom Hardiman, Raymond Kethledge, Amul Thapar, and Amy Coney Barrett.

The president did signal out one individual during the conversation, Republican Senator Mike Lee. It is unclear if Lee made the president’s short list, but was offered some praise.

“He’s an outstanding talent,” Trump said of Lee, as Independent reports. “I actually saw him on television last night, where he said he would love the job. You know, usually, they don’t say that.”

Trump found a real winner in Justice Neil Gorsuch and will look to replicate the success as he looks to fill Kennedy’s vacancy.

“I’m very proud of Neil Gorsuch,” President Trump continued. “He has been outstanding. His opinions are so well-written and so brilliant. I’m going to try and do something like that, but I don’t think I’m going to be so specific.”

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