President Trump to Announce Supreme Court Nominee Tuesday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
The U.S. Supreme Court building.

President Donald Trump said he will announce his nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States on Tuesday, two days earlier than previously planned, as he looks to put his imprint on the ideological leaning of the court by restoring its conservative majority.

Trump, in a Twitter post on Monday, said he would unveil at 8 p.m. on Tuesday his pick to fill the lingering vacancy on the court left by the death in February 2016 of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

Three conservative U.S. appeals court judges appointed to the bench by Republican former President George W. Bush are among those under close consideration by Trump. They are: Neil Gorsuch, a judge on the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; Thomas Hardiman, who serves on the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; and William Pryor, a judge on the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The nominee must be confirmed for the lifetime post by the Senate, which is controlled by Trump’s fellow Republicans with a 52-48 majority. Democrats, however, could use procedural hurdles to try to block the nomination.

Trump previously said he would announce his nominee on Thursday.

At a breakfast with small business leaders at the White House on Monday, President Trump said his pick for the Supreme Court is someone “unbelievably highly respected.”