Judge Brett Kavanaugh, seen here at a ceremony with President George W. Bush, is considered the front-runner to be President Trump’s newest nominee for the Supreme Court.
As President Donald Trump gets ready to nominate a replacement for the retiring Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, here’s a look at the top candidates to fill the post.
The odds are drawn from the betting market PredictIt, as of Monday morning. The ratings come from the American Bar Association.
The front-runner in the betting market and in D.C. circles is Judge Brett Kavanaugh, currently of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He has a long track record that works both for and against him. According to a Wall Street Journal opinion piece arguing in favor of his nomination, Kavanaugh’s opinions have been adopted by the justices 11 times.
Raymond Kethledge, of the Sixth Circuit, has been dubbed “Gorsuch 2.0” by conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt, who argued that Kethledge is a so-called originalist. Uniquely, Kethledge got his law degree from the University of Michigan, and not Harvard or Yale like the other candidates.
Amy Coney Barrett is one of two women on the list for a seat that could be the swing vote in upending the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. A federal appeals court judge in Chicago, Coney Barrett was the subject of a spirited Senate hearing on her nomination to the federal bench over the degree to which her Roman Catholic faith would influence decisions.
Thomas Hardiman has climbed up the ranks as he is one of two judges Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell favors, according to a New York Times report. McConnell is of the belief that Hardiman and Kethledge would present the fewest obstacles to getting confirmed, the report said. Hardiman has served alongside Trump’s sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, on the federal appeals court in Philadelphia.
All of the nominees listed below have spoken with Trump in person or on the phone, according to reports.
|Possible nominee||Odds||Background||Last ABA rating|
|Brett Kavanaugh||42%||Circuit court judge who was a staff secretary to President George W. Bush and former law clerk for Anthony Kennedy||Qualified|
|Amy Coney Barrett||32%||Circuit court judge and former law clerk to Antonin Scalia||Well qualified|
|Thomas Hardiman||25%||Circuit court judge||Well qualified|
|Raymond Kethledge||14%||Circuit court judge and former law clerk for Anthony Kennedy||Well qualified|