President Donald Trump said Thursday he has his mind made up on who he will nominate for the Supreme Court, indicating he will announce his pick next week.
“I have made my decision pretty much in my mind, yes,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity in an interview Thursday. “That’s subject to change at the last moment, but I think this will be a great choice.”
Politico reports that Trump has narrowed down his list of possible nominees from 21 to three since November: Circuit judges Thomas Hardiman, Neil Gorusch and Bill Pryor. He interviewed the finalists in New York before his move to the White House.
According to Politico, the front runner is most likely Hardiman, as Trump’s sister, circuit judge Maryanne Trump Barry, has reportedly spoken to the President in support of Hardiman’s nomination.
Hardiman is big on protecting gun rights, known for his originalist stance on Second Amendment cases, Time magazine reports. The other two nominees are also strong conservatives with records suggesting they would be very pro-gun as well.
If Trump were indeed to nominate someone from the three-person list, he would be fulfilling his campaign promises to pick a nominee who is very pro Second Amendment.
“You know, politics is tough,” Trump told Hannity. “Sometimes you make a promise and for some reason you can’t, because you have opposition on the other side that raises their hand and they make it impossible, but I’m going to keep a lot of them and I’ve kept a lot of them already. Everyone’s talking about it.”
Whoever he picks, Trump is set on getting his nominee confirmed by any means necessary. If democrats try to block his nominee, Trump would encourage Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to go with the “nuclear option” and try to eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees by killing the 60-vote threshold in the Senate.
It remains to be seen if Republicans would have enough votes to make such a drastic rules change in the Senate, as some have not supported such measures in the past. If such a change is indeed proposed, 50 of 52 Republican senators would need to support it.
Article updated at 5:58 p.m. EST on Jan. 27, 2017