Mr. President, Did you have a litmus test for your Supreme Court nominee, or was there any one factor that outweighed the others?
The US Supreme Court has been operating with just eight members since Antonin Scalia died in February 2016 and Senate Republicans refused to consider former President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland. The vacancy became a big issue in the campaign between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, with Trump going so far as to release a list of people he would consider to join the bench.
People like Margaret Ryan, Raymond Gruender, Thomas Hardiman, Don Willett, Amul Thapar and William Pryor made a list of 21 names. Trump pledged that his nominee would come from that list — though he could have a surprise up his sleeve Tuesday night, a prospect that still unnerves conservatives.
Scalia was one of the most conservative members of the court, so anyone less than a dyed-in-the-wool conservative would upset many Trump supporters.
Whoever it is, Trump's pick promises to shape the court for decades. Many fear that the more conservative court will dismantle the right to an abortion, roll back civil rights protections and end the few remaining protections afforded by the Voting Rights Act.
So, Mr. President, we have a question: Was there a single issue you had in mind when you made this pick?
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