US Supreme Court pundit gives low down on Trump’s frontrunners

US Supreme Court pundit gives low down on Trump's frontrunners

Three judges are reportedly in the running to fill the US Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last year, with President Trump expected to appoint an arch conservative to the bench.

Trump’s top picks are believed to be William Pryor, Neil Grouch and Thomas Hardiman. He will reveal his choice next Thursday.

Dr Paul Martin, a tutorial fellow in politics at Wadham College, Oxford and CUF university lecturer in politics, gave Irish Legal News some insight on the frontrunners, saying his “gut feeling” is that Neil Gorsuch will be chosen.

He explained that President Trump “signalled clearly early in his campaign that he would make the sort of choices any other Republican president would make” and that “we should expect a very conservative nominee like John Roberts or Samuel Alito”.

He added: “The White House seems to be struggling to vet its nominees thoroughly. This substantially increases the risk of unpleasant surprises during the nomination process which cause both Trump and the nominee major problems - as where Ronald Reagan had to withdraw the nomination of Douglas Ginsburg in 1987.”

Of Trump’s likely candidates, he said: ”My gut feeling is that it would be Neil Gorsuch, a graduate of Harvard and Oxford who is not yet 50 and could remain on the court for a very long time.

“Against him is the thought that Trump may want someone who doesn’t have the Harvard or Yale law school backgrounds that dominate the current court, such as the other two on that list.”

William Pryor is a controversial figure, having described the legalisation of abortion in 1973 as the “worst abomination in the history of constitutional law”.

Dr Martin said: His nomination might well seem like too much political capital to expend. Thomas Hardiman, the third frontrunner, is therefore worth an outside bet.”

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