Sykes, Pryor among top contenders for Supreme Court vacancy

Donald Trump (Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — It will be some time before Donald Trump announces a nominee to fill the vacancy left by Antonin Scalia, according to transition insiders.

But two names continue to emerge to the top of the president elect’s list of potential Supreme Court justices. Judges Diane Sykes and William Pryor are among the top contenders, according to multiple sources familiar with the process.

The Supreme Court vacancy is “actively being discussed,” but there is no timetable at the moment, Trump transition aide Jason Miller told reporters Thursday.

“The President-elect, he had previously put out a list of 20 very qualified individuals from which he would select. I know that they have continued to narrow that list down,” Miller said. “He himself has said that’s probably a shorter list of 5 or 6 folks that are near the top of that, that’s being narrowed down to. And again, but this is another one where it’s an absolute utmost priority, so we need to make sure we get this one right.”

Trump first mentioned Sykes and Pryor after a February debate — and the two conservatives are among the only ones Trump has mentioned by name.

However, aides acknowledge that given the size of the list and Trump’s previous approach to filling vacancies, things are subject to change.

Sykes, 59, sits on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Marquette University School of Law grad voted to uphold Wisconsin’s voter ID law and also sided with businesses in challenging the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate. While some conservatives view Sykes favorably, others expressed concern given her age.

Pryor, a staunch conservative, called Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision making abortion legal, the “worst abomination in the history of constitutional law.”

The 54-year-old Tulane Law University grad sits on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Republican senators refused to hold hearings for Merrick Garland, who President Barack Obama nominated to replace Scalia.