Pence Says Trump to Name ‘Strong Conservative’ to Supreme Court

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump will appoint a “strong conservative” similar to deceased Justice Antonin Scalia to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, Vice President Mike Pence said in an interview with Bloomberg News aboard Air Force Two.

His remarks suggest the president will reject pleas by some Democrats to nominate a moderate who could be an occasional swing vote, as Kennedy has been. Trump will choose a nominee with an “originalist” interpretation of the Constitution, Pence said.

“The American people can be confident that the president’s going to appoint another strong conservative to the court who will uphold the God-given liberties enshrined in the Constitution,” Pence said.

“We’ve got a deep bench,” Pence said of candidates the White House is considering.

He said there is no need to wait until after midterm elections because 2018 is “not a presidential election” year, Pence said. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was criticized in 2016 for refusing to consider former President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill Scalia’s seat, Appeals Court Judge Merrick Garland, because of the election.

The seat was instead filled by Justice Neil Gorsuch after Trump was inaugurated.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.