The White House hopes to have a Supreme Court nominee chosen by the time President Donald Trump leaves for his European trip on July 10, according to one Republican close to the White House and one person involved with the judicial selection process.
The White House is expected to start interviewing candidates early next week, with the White House’s top attorney, Don McGahn, leading that process. The goal is to hold confirmation hearings in August or September, so that any confirmed justice can join the court in early October, before the next term.
The top contenders include Raymond Kethledge, Thomas Hardiman, Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amul Thapar – though the person involved with the process stressed that other potential nominees from Trump’s list of judges could also get a “hard look.”
Trump and a cadre of yet-to-be-determined senior administration officials are expected to interview a handful of finalists, similar to how the White House handled the selection of Trump’s first Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch.
“The administration has already been through this once, so that really helps a lot. There is already a system in place,” said the person involved with the process.