If President Trump and conservative activists want to make good on their goal of replacing the late Justice Antonin Scalia with a jurist of the same bent and caliber, a group of lawyers and academics have crunched the numbers and have come up with the answer: Judge William Pryor.
Of the three names reported to be at the top of Mr. Trump’s list, Judge Pryor scored the highest on a test of likely “Scalia-ness,” followed closely by Judge Neil Gorsuch, with Judge Thomas Hardiman trailing behind.
According to sources, federal appeals court judge William Pryor’s outspoken opposition to abortion as Alabama’s attorney general has pushed him to the bottom of Mr. Trump’s short list.
Sources tell CBS News, Pryor’s nomination is unlikely, after Senate Republicans warned about a repeat of his 2003 appeals court confirmation fight.
For two years, Democrats blocked Pryor’s confirmation.
Mr. Trump is now focused on another judge with a working-class background: Thomas Hardiman.
As a former attorney, Hardiman has been less vocal about his personal views.
“Our role as judges is to interpret the law,” Hardiman said.
Still on the now very short list for the current vacancy is federal appeals judge Neil Gorsuch. But with Justice Anthony Kennedy likely to retire soon, Gorsuch could become a leading favorite for Mr. Trump’s second nomination.
Democrats will probably vote against ANY nominee Trump makes from the list, unless in particular those Democrats who are up for reelection in 2018 in states Donald Trump won, vote in support of the nominee. I think it’s likely Republicans will have to do away with the nuclear option.
Wait and see if Democrats put up a blockade and won’t confirm a very, very important nominee, and if Trump (who is supportive of the nuclear option, per source), puts the pressure on as does Mitch McConell. I think there’s a good chance they will change their minds. Nothing has happened yet, a nominee has not been named, there have been no hearings… but if the block gets put up by the Democrats, I don’t think a reversal on the part of those four is that far off in sight.
Mitch McConnell to Play By the ‘Rules,’ Not Use ‘Nuclear Option’
Calls for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to invoke the Senate’s “nuclear option” for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nomination next Thursday – and future GOP-pushed legislation – are apparently falling on deaf ears.
There are no plans to change the Senate’s filibuster rules, regardless of President Trump’s urging, Sen. McConnell told The Hill on Friday.
“Senate rules are a matter for the Senate, and a lot of other people have opinions,” McConnell said, per The Hill. "We’ve already adopted the rules for this Congress at the beginning of the year.
“Basically we didn’t adopt any, because in the Senate, rules are permanent. Unlike the House, which every two year adopts a new set of rules, we don’t.”
“It takes 67 votes to change the rules in the Senate,” Sen. McConnell told The Hill. “We saw one rather conspicuous exception to that a few years ago, but no we don’t have any current plans on the rules.”