Refuting media reports that the Trump administration may announce its Supreme Court pick as early as Monday morning, moments ago Trump tweeted that he has made his "decision on who I will nominate for The United States Supreme Court. It will be announced live on Tuesday at 8:00 P.M."
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's tweet conflicts with what he said last week when he previewed his SCOTUS decision for Thursday:
I will be making my Supreme Court pick on Thursday of next week.Thank you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2017
As we wrote last week, while various media outlets reported that William Pryor of Alabama, Neil Gorsuch of Colorado and Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania are the 3 mostly likely people to get the nod, the Los Angeles Times went one step further by declaring Gorsuch the most likely ultimate winner.
While it is likely that Gorsuch will be Trump's candidate, the real fight will begin after Trump's pick is announced as Democrats in the Senate, now led by Chuck Schumer, have vowed to block any candidate not deemed "mainstream." Appearing on Rachel Maddow, Schumer pretty much vowed to fight any Trump pick put forward, mainstream or not. "It's hard for me to imagine a nominee that Donald Trump would choose, that would get Republican support, that we could support."
Under current rules, Republicans will need at least eight Democrats to support Trump's nominee to overcome the 60-vote filibuster hurdle. That said, Ted Cruz has already started lobbying for the "nuclear option" that would lower the confirmation vote threshold to a simple majority and pave the way for Republicans to confirm any Justice put forward, without Democrat support.
While Democrats will undoubtedly blast the proposed rule change, they will likely "forget" that they first employed the "nuclear option" in 2013 to confirm several of President Obama's nominations, via simple majority votes, over the objection of Republicans.
In 2013, Democrats, who at the time held the majority in the Senate, triggered the nuclear option to confirm several of President Obama's nominees. The move did not apply to the Supreme Court.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said recently he regrets Democrats' 2013 decision, which is now easing the confirmation of President Trump's Cabinet nominees.
We would also point out that Democrats "changed the rules" in 2010, after losing their filibuster proof majority on the death of Massachusetts Democrat Ted Kennedy, to ram through one of the destructive pieces of legislation in recent history, Obamacare.
In short, expect even more fireworks if Trump rams his SCOTUS pick over the loud cries of democrats.