With lightning quickness President-elect Donald Trump said Friday he has narrowed his choice for a Supreme Court nominee “down to probably three or four candidates.” The announcement comes months after President Barack Obama had nominated liberal Federal Court Judge Merrick Garland to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a fiercely conservative member of the Court.
Shortly after Obama made his Garland recommendation, the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear the nomination would not reach the Senate floor for confirmation hearings. The Republicans held the majority of seats at the time and it was reaffirmed in the November elections.
Trump made it clear that one of his first decisions after his inauguration will be to nominate a Supreme Court Justice who is a strict Constitutionalist. Since Justice Scalia’s death, the high court has been functioning with just eight justices.
The then Republican presidential nominee left no uncertainty of the type of justice he would seek if elected president. Trump unveiled a list of 21 potential nominees to fill the vacancy. Included were U.S. Court of Appeals Judges William Pryor, Diane Sykes, former Wisconsin state Supreme Court judge, she would consider for the Supreme Court. Along with Pryor and Sykes, the list included Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Michigan Supreme Court Chief Judge Robert Young Jr.
Apparently the newly elected president will be wasting no time reshaping the Supreme Court in a more conservative direction that will stay the course for at least the next 25 years. Trump told Fox News Sean Hannity Thursday night, “We’re going to have to appoint very soon. We’re going to have to come up with a name.” He added his candidates are “terrific people. Highly respected, brilliant people and we’ll be announcing that pretty soon too.”
The operative words Trump has repeated many times describing his Supreme Court pick is “constitutional originalists.” It is assumed the soon-to-be president’s choice will be a far different mode from those justices defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton would have appointed. It was one of the main voting decisions Americans made on November 8th.