Money and Democracy

Published — January 26, 2017 Updated — February 1, 2017 at 11:20 am ET

Trump likely to choose millionaire jurist for Supreme Court vacancy

Learn about the financial holdings of the three appellate judges on short list


Feb. 1, 2017:This story has been updated.

All three of President Donald Trump’s likely nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court appear to be millionaires, just like the majority of their potential colleagues already on the nation’s highest court and many of Trump’s other picks for senior positions.

Those reportedly on Trump’s short list to fill a vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia are all federal appellate judges: Judge Neil Gorsuch of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Thomas Hardiman, based in Pittsburgh, and 11th U.S. Circuit Court Judge William Pryor, who works in Birmingham, Alabama.

Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning that he plans to make his pick on Thursday, Feb. 2. So what do we know about the possible nominees?

The Center for Public Integrity reviewed the three judges’ annual financial disclosures, including those covering 2014that were gathered by the National Law Journal. (Update, Feb. 1, 2017, 11:20 a.m.:This story has been updated to include the judges’ disclosures for 2015, themost recent filings.)To be sure, the judges’ financial situations could have changed since then.

Only Hardiman appeared to own stock directly in companies, a potential “mousetrap” for judges due to the potential for conflicts of interest with their caseloads. Such financial holdings can lead to recusals that could have dramatic effects in a court where decisions are often split 5 to 4. In a 2014 investigation, the Center for Public Integrity found 24 cases in which federal appellate judges owned stock in companies before them yet did not step aside, a violation of federal law. Five of the cases were subsequently reopened.

Here’s what to know about Trump’s possible Supreme Court picks.To find disclosures about a particular business or topic, type search terms in the box (for example, “eBay”) and hit return. Or, scroll down to read the profilesand click on the disclosure links below.

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