Trump this weekend began to sit down with finalists from his preselected list of 25 Supreme Court candidate at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, and is plotting a course to pick Anthony Kennedy’s replacement “using [Neil] Gorsuch as a model,” the Washington Post reports.
Trump on Saturday said he plans to pick a nominee on July 9, and is working with Republicans in the Senate to expedite his judicial pick.
According to the Post, Trump wants a nominees who is “extraordinarily well qualified” and who earned their degree at an Ivy League university—namely Harvard or Yale. As the Post reports, Trump “also wants to see a portfolio of solid academic writing, though this adviser acknowledged Trump does not care to read it; he simply wants to know it exists.”
Trump also wants a nominee who is “not weak” and who will "interpret the Constitution the way the framers meant it to be,” advisers told the Post.
"This president had a vision," Leonard Leo, who advises the president on judicial nominees, told the Post. "He did something entrepreneurial and different. He had a very clear sense of what he wanted, he spent a lot of time asking questions about [the late] Justice [Antonin] Scalia and Justice [Clarence] Thomas and other members of the court, and he got to know Justice Kennedy a little bit. I have been really impressed with how he conducted this process. He's in control of it.”
Trump himself described Supreme Court nominee selection as the most important decision he can make “outside of war and peace.”
"We have a pick to come up," Trump said at a campaign rally Wednesday night. "We have to pick a great one. We have to pick one that's going to be there for 40 years, 45 years. We need intellect. We need so many things to go. You know, there's so many elements go into the making of a great justice of the Supreme Court. You've got to hit every one of them."