President Donald Trump announced this morning that he would make his Supreme Court nominee public at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
He released a list of 20 nominees he was considering during his campaign, but media reports suggest the front runners are Neil Gorsuch, of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, and Thomas Hardiman, of the 3rd Circuit in Philadelphia.
William Pryor, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, has also been named a top contender.
Trump has made it no secret that he is looking for a conservative justice in the mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who died almost a year ago.
Former President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland, currently Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, but the Republican-led Senate refused for 10 months to hold a hearing.
The high court is currently split with four Democratic justices and four Republican justices. FiveThirtyEight has a good analysis of how Trump’s pick could alter the Supreme Court. You can read it here.
Determining how a judicial nominee would behave on the court is tricky — nominees’ past records often don’t offer a reliable hint. But research has found that one factor does prove useful: the ideological makeup of the people who nominated and confirmed them.