Tonight’s announcement of a Supreme Court nomination to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy is of particular interest to Floridians.
One of the candidates President Donald Trump is considering for a Supreme Court nomination served on the federal bench with Trump’s sister. Another played a role in one Florida’s most infamous political episodes: the contested 2000 election.
Judge Thomas Hardiman served on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals with Trump’s older sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, who sold her house in Palm Beach just two months ago to Donald Trump, Jr., and his brother Eric.
Hardiman was also considered as a replacement for Antonin Scalia, who passed away in 2016. The New York Times reported Sunday, citing two sources close to the president, that Barry recommended Hardiman, but Trump ultimately filled that seat with current Justice Neil Gorsuch.
A second judge on Trump’s Supreme Court short list is Brett Kavanaugh, a federal appellate judge in the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals.
Kavanaugh represented then Texas Gov. George W. Bush at the Supreme Court during the legal over a Florida recount in the 2000 presidential election. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Bush v. Gore, effectively ending a Sunshine State recount and giving the state’s decisive electoral votes Bush.
Kavanaugh was reportedly also one of the lawyers that fought a losing battle to keep Elian Gonzalez in the United States with his Miami relatives.