President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday he plans to announce a Supreme Court nomination within two weeks of his inauguration January 20.
During his contentious press conference at Trump Tower in New York, Trump said meetings with “numerous candidates” have already taken place from among his list of 20 possible candidates that was made public during the campaign in 2016. “They were outstanding in every case.”
Trump credited Federalist Society executive president Leonard Leo and Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint with helping formulate the list. “We have a great group of people,” he said. Trump also praised the “great great” late Justice Antonin Scalia whose seat his nominee would fill.
The nomination is a top priority, Trump said, because the future of the Supreme Court was a major reason he got elected. “The people of this country did not want to see what was happening with the Supreme Court,” Trump said.
Speculation over who the top contenders are for the seat has focused mainly on federal appeals court judges William Pryor and Diane Sykes, as well as Neil Gorsuch, Steven Colloton and Thomas Hardiman, also federal appeal judges. Justice Joan Larsen of the Michigan Supreme Court is also prominently mentioned.