President Donald Trump has not yet said who he will nominate to fill the Supreme Court seat that has been open for nearly a year, but he did promise on Jan. 27 that former Justice Antonin Scalia's replacement will be someone "Christians will love."
"I think the person I pick will be big, big," Trump told CBN during an interview. "I think people are going to love it. I think evangelicals, Christians will love my pick. And will be represented very fairly."
The president is expected to announce his selection for the position on Feb. 2, reports the Washington Post.
Trump has continued to whittle down the 20-person list of potential Supreme Court picks that he released during his presidential campaign and select somebody from it. Possible candidates include 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Judge William Pryor, 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch, 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Diane Sykes and 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Thomas Hardiman, notes CNN.
When asked what will be the deciding factor for the final choice, Trump explained that it will not be so much of a gut instinct as a practical decision.
"Well, I think also it's who's going to get approved," the president told CBN. "And you know we have to go through a process after I pick the person that I am going to be picking. I think I know, but I'm not 100 percent. I can't guarantee it. We're doing some further checking. The vetting, they call it the vetting process and the vetting process is very strong. But … all 20 are fantastic people. You know we put out 20 before the election. I said these are the people I'll pick."
Trump is scheduled to meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and the leaders of the Judiciary Committee on Jan. 31 to discuss the vacant seat, reports CNN.
"I think in my mind I know who it is," Trump told a group of Republicans at a Jan. 26 luncheon, according to CNN. "I think you're going to be very, very excited."