A spokesman for President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team said Thursday there was no timetable yet for filling the Supreme Court vacancy left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, but that the nomination was on the “front burner.”
Sean Spicer, who will serve as Trump’s press secretary in the White House, said on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show that he had nothing to add beyond what incoming Trump chief-of-staff Reince Priebus had said about a nomination coming after the inauguration.
“We’ve got a lot of focus on filling out four additional spots in the cabinet,” Spicer said, adding that there are a lot of “sub-thoughts” about Trump’s Supreme Court pick, according to a transcript of the radio interview.
“He has talked to a lot of folks. He’s solicited some input,” Spicer said. “But I think that I wouldn’t expect an announcement until probably, know, he is officially the president of the United States.”
Senate Republicans made the unprecedented move of blocking any consideration of President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace Scalia, the federal appeals court Judge Merrick Garland, on the grounds that the next president should be allowed to chose Scalia’s successor.
Trump touted the Supreme Court vacancy frequently on the campaign trail, and one in five voters, a majority of whom broke for Trump, said the Supreme Court was the most important factor to them, according to exit polling.