President Donald Trump has narrowed his first Supreme Court nomination down to three finalists with Tenth Circuit judge Neil Gorsuch and Third Circuit judge Thomas Hardiman emerging as the frontrunners while Eleventh Circuit Judge Bill Pryor remains in the running but fading, according to people familiar with the search process.
Trump interviewed at least those three finalists in New York during the transition, according to a person familiar with the search. Trump himself said Tuesday he would fill the Court’s empty seat next week and has summoned top Senate leaders to the White House to discuss his impending choice to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died nearly a year ago…
As Gorsuch’s fortunes have risen, Pryor’s prospects have dimmed. A 2006 George W. Bush appointee, Pryor is currently the subject of raging debate on an off-the-record list-serv that includes many in the conservative legal and political communities, including many Republican Senate staffers, thanks to his decision to join the majority in Glenn v. Brumby, a 2011 opinion that protected transgenders from workplace discrimination.
“I think everybody on this list probably has something I’m not going to agree with. I think that decision with Pryor probably would be the one that would fall into that category,” said Carrie Severino, the chief counsel and policy director of the Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative legal organization.