Trump reportedly builds announcement suspense by bringing two SCOTUS shortlisters to DC
Updated: President Donald Trump is reportedly bringing two finalists from his U.S. Supreme Court shortlist to Washington in advance of his evening announcement on his choice to fill the seat belonging to the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
The two finalists are Judge Neil Gorsuch of the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and Judge Thomas Hardiman of the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, sources tell CNN.
One source told CNN that the administration hopes to build suspense and keep secret Trump’s choice in advance of the announcement, scheduled for 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Gorsuch is an originalist who graduated from Harvard Law School and then clerked for Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Anthony M. Kennedy. Hardiman—who sits on the same appeals court as Trump’s sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry—is known for his law-and-order rulings. He was the first person in his family to attend college, and he helped pay for his Georgetown University law degree by driving a taxi.
On Tuesday night, White House spokesman Sean Spicer denied the report about Hardiman, however, CNN later reported. “The reality is that to the best of my knowledge he never left the state of Pennsylvania,” Spicer said. Sources acknowledged to CNN that they left the impression that Hardiman was coming to Washington.
Updated Feb. 1 to include later statement from Spicer.