Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) threatened to oppose Appeals Court Judge Thomas Hardiman as a potential Supreme Court nominee – even though he once praised Hardiman as “well qualified.”
Judge Hardiman, who is a conservative jurist on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, is one of the top finalists to replace the outgoing Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
President George W. Bush nominated Hardiman to serve on the Appeals Court in 2006, and the judge subsequently received a unanimous 95-0 confirmation in the Senate in 2007.
Sen. Casey praised Hardiman’s confirmation in a 2007 statement, saying, “Thomas Hardiman has established a solid record on the District Court. He is well qualified to serve on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.”
However, Casey’s enthusiasm for Judge Hardiman has waned since 2007. In a Monday interview with New Castle News, the Pennsylvania Democrat said that a confirmation vote after the 2018 midterm election “makes more sense.”
Sen. Casey said:
My prime concern right now is the president so far – and I hope he has a different approach than he did before – but so far seems to be wedded to this idea that he can only choose from 25 names that were proposed by hard-right organizations and no one else is eligible, no moderate or no conservative.
“I think the American people expect you to pick from a much wider pool and consider someone who’s a conservative or moderate-to-conservative, as opposed to just saying this person has to be hard-right and has to be on that list,” the two-term senator said.
In a statement last week, Sen. Casey contended that he would be “highly unlikely” to vote for any Supreme Court nominee that was backed by the “far-right” Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society.
President Donald Trump said that he will announce his Supreme Court nominee on July 9. Trump met with four “outstanding” potential Supreme Court nominees on Monday, and he will likely meet with two or three more potential nominees for before making his pick.
“They are outstanding people. They are really incredible people in so many different ways, academically and every other way. And I had a very interesting morning.” Trump said.
Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) for U.S. Senate Press Secretary David Jackson said in a statement on Tuesday that Casey “will oppose anything President Trump does.”
Bob Casey was for Judge Hardiman before he was against him, showing yet again that Casey will oppose anything President Trump does, even if it means contradicting himself. While today Bob Casey calls Judge Hardiman ‘hard right,’ in 2007 Casey said Hardiman had ‘an outstanding record both academically and professionally.’
“So what changed in 12 years? Bob Casey,” Jackson asked.