President Donald Trump announced on Twitter Monday morning that he has selected his Supreme Court nominee, and that he will be announcing the identity of the nominee live from the White House on Tuesday evening.
"I have made my decision on who I will nominate for The United States Supreme Court. It will be announced live on Tuesday at 8 p.m," Trump tweeted.
I have made my decision on who I will nominate for The United States Supreme Court. It will be announced live on Tuesday at 8:00 P.M. (W.H.)
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 30, 2017
Trump was previously slated to make the announcement on Thursday, but decided to bump up the announcement, possibly in an effort to change an extremely negative press cycle that has centered around his controversial executive order on visa applications from seven majority-Muslim countries. On Friday, Fox News reported that sources close to Trump confirmed he had narrowed his choices down to two judges, both from the federal appeals court: Neil Gorsuch of the Tenth Circuit and Thomas Hardiman of the Third Circuit. William H. Pryor, Jr. of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals was also said to have been on the list previously.
The Supreme Court has been operating with only eight justices since the death of Antonin Scalia in February 2016. Former President Barack Obama previously nominated U.S. Circuit Judge Merrick Garland to fill the spot, but Republican leadership in Congress refused to give Garland a hearing, saying that they thought the incoming president should be able to make the selection instead. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has promised to filibuster virtually any justice that Trump nominates, which could well lead to an immediate showdown with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) over the future of the filibuster in judicial nominations.