Trump Supreme Court Pick: Who Will it Be Tonight?!

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U.S. President Donald Trump plans to name a Supreme Court justice to replace the late Antonin Scalia tonight, according to reports.

Trump has reportedly narrowed his search to two candidates ...

SCOTUS 2

He is considering appeals judges Thomas Hardiman of the Third Circuit in Pennsylvania and Neil Gorsuch of the 10th Circuit in Colorado.

Hardiman is 51 and Gorsuch is 49.

Naturally, both men are being brought to Washington D.C. ahead of the announcement, which will be made by Trump on live television.

Would you expect anything less from the Showman-in-Chief? Maybe fog machines and an Apprentice style "You're Hired!" ceremony?

In all seriousness, this is a big deal.

The pick (and possible future ones by Trump) could help to shape the ideological balance of the nation's highest court for years to come.

Currently, eight justices sit on the court, following the death of Scalia, and there's good reason that many recent decisions have been 4-4.

Donald Trump at a Podium

Chief Justice John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito form the more conservative wing of the eight justices at present.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer fill out the traditionally more liberal wing of the court.

Anthony Kennedy, the most senior of the eight justices, is considered the closest thing to a moderate or swing vote among them.

The vacancy itself has sparked controversy.

President Barack Obama picked Merrick Garland, a Washington appeals court judge, to fill the seat vacated by Scalia last year.

The Republican-controlled Congress never held a vote on the nomination, saying it would be left to the next President to fill.

They're about to get their wish.

Hardiman

Thomas Hardiman, a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2007.

He was confirmed to his current post 95-0.

Trump's older sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, who sits on the Third Circuit with Hardiman, has spoken to her brother about him.

Hardiman has established conservative credentials, particularly when it comes to the issues of gun rights, law enforcement and crime.

On the flip side, certain rulings involving discrimination claims from marginalized groups depart from traditional conservative orthodoxy.

A native of Massachusetts, Hardiman was educated at the University of Notre Dame and later at Georgetown University's Law Center.

Gorsuch

Neil Gorsuch was also nominated to his judgeship in 2006 by Bush, and has a reputation of solidly conservative rulings himself.

He has expressed admiration for Scalia, saying last year that he was "not embarrassed to admit" that he cried hearing about his death.

Gorsuch has been a defender of religious exemptions for private companies and nonprofit groups related to the Affordable Care Act.

Like Scalia, he is described as an originalist, judges who give weight to the text of the Constitution as they feel it was intended at the time.

Gorusch is from Colorado and is an avid outdoorsman.

Another man believed to be a longtime favorite for the seat, William Pryor of Alabama, was reportedly among Trump's top three candidates.

He has narrowed it to two. Who do you think it'll be?!

And the Winner is?

Donald J. Trump has chosen Neil Gorsuch as a nominee for the Supreme Court. Was he the right pick? Or should it have been Thomas Hardiman? View Poll ยป

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