President-elect Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he would name a U.S. Supreme Court nominee within about two weeks of his inauguration on Jan. 20.
President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland officially expired Jan. 3, with the Senate refusing to hold a hearing or vote on the nomination.
There’s been media reports of Democrats promising a fight if Trump nominates someone considered outside the legal mainstream, but other reports have Republicans vowing to nominate his pick one way or another and warning of consequences to Democrats who try to hinder the process.
Trump’s public comments about the Supreme Court at a press conference Wednesday are the first since his election. He said he thinks the Supreme Court vacancy is one of the major reasons he was elected.
“I think the people of this country did not want to see what was happening with the Supreme Court,” Trump said.
He told reporters that he has gone through his list of 20 candidates and met with numerous of them.
“They’re outstanding in every case,” he said. “They were largely recommended and highly recommended by (The) Federalist Society.”
In the meantime, SCOTUSblog is profiling nine judges frequently mentioned by journalists and commentators as front-runners for the nomination: Judge William Pryor, Judge Steven Colloton, Judge Raymond Gruender, Judge Neil Gorsuch, Judge Diane Sykes, Judge Thomas Hardiman, Judge Raymond Kethledge, Justice Thomas Lee and Justice Joan Larsen.