VOX News: Supreme Short List — Trump To Go With A U.S. Appeals Judge — Judges Gorsuch (10th C), Hardiman (3rd C), & Pryor (11th C) Top List!


“Now, Politico’s Eliana Johnson and Shane Goldmacher report that Trump has narrowed the choices to three, all of whom are on federal appeals courts:

Neil Gorsuch, 49, of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, and Oklahoma)
Thomas Hardiman, 51, of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania)
William “Bill” Pryor, 54, of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Alabama, Georgia, and Florida)
Johnson and Goldmacher report that Gorsuch and Hardiman have an advantage and Pryor’s chances have waned.

All three finalists are white men appointed to their posts by George W. Bush, but they vary in background and in how contention [sic] their nominations would likely be.”


Read full bios of all three judges at the above link.  Reportedly, after the Republicans “stonewalled” the Garland nomination, the Democrats are not going to be racing to complete the confirmation process for the late conservative icon Justice Antonin Scalias’s replacement. But, in the end, the Republicans have the votes to put President Trump’s nominee on the Court.  And, given that all three of these judges have been previously vetted and confirmed for prestigious U.S. Court of Appeals judgeships, barring any surprises, President Trump will get his choice.

Interestingly, I heard on a news report today that the average time lapse between formal nomination and confirmation for a Supreme Court Justice is 70 days.  Compare that the with the snail-paced hiring process for U.S. Immigration Judges who are Executive Branch employees and do not require Senate confirmation.

The U.S. Immigration Judge hiring process sometimes takes a year or more. While in the past judicial hiring was sometimes completed in 70 days or less, those days are long gone. What’s the deal here? Most of the recent Immigration Judge appointees have been from Government backgrounds and already had security clearances. And, background clearances, although important, are basically a ministerial/administrative process, not “rocket science.” With more than half a million pending cases and many judicial vacancies (which might or might not be frozen) there remarkably does not seem to be any sense of urgency in the DOJ/EOIR judicial hiring process. Go figure!