Justice

#9. @realDonaldTrump Did you have a litmus test for your Supreme Court nominee, or was there a factor that outweighed others? #100Days100Qs

An ariel view of the Supreme Court Building

The U.S. Supreme Court building facade is pictured in Washington, DC, U.S. on March 29, 2016. 

Credit:

REUTERS/Gary Cameron/File Photo

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?

Click here to tweet that question to the president.

Over President Donald Trump's roughly first 100 days, we'll be asking him questions that our audience wants answers to. Join the project by tweeting this question to @realDonaldTrump with the hashtag #100Days100Qs. See more of our questions at pri.org/100questions.

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