Thomas Hardiman, one of the finalists for U.S. Supreme Court, reportedly has had a powerful backer in his corner: Donald Trump’s own sister, Maryanne Trump Barry.
Why would Maryanne Trump Barry be a factor in the SCOTUS nomination? She’s a federal judge who served on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals with… Thomas Hardiman, and she reportedly thinks highly of him. With Trump’s decision-making on Anthony Kennedy’s replacement going down to the wire, The New York Times and other news outlets were reporting that Trump was vacillating between Hardiman and Brett Kavanaugh. Trump is announcing his pick at 9 p.m. Eastern Time on July 9, 2018.
The New York Times and Wall Street Journal then reported that Trump has chosen someone but didn’t reveal the name. However, the Journal wrote, “Allies of Judge Hardiman said they had been told to be ready to start touting the one-time taxi driver’s blue-collar roots…They also said they’d been told the judge was in Washington, D.C., for a conference.” It’s not clear, though, whether allies of other candidates were similarly told to be ready. In the end, Trump chose Kavanaugh.
Here’s what you need to know about Thomas Hardiman and Trump’s sister, Maryanne Trump Barry:
Maryanne Trump Barry Reportedly Supported Hardiman Last Time Too
Trump’s sister was backing Hardiman the last time around, when Trump ultimately picked Neil Gorsuch for the Antonin Scalia seat on SCOTUS. Hardiman was the second choice. In 2017, Politico reported that Barry was “a quiet but influential ally” of Hardiman.
The Hill reported that Maryanne Trump Barry, who is Trump’s oldest sister, “gave her strong endorsement of the jurist.”
“Maryanne is high on Hardiman,” an adviser told Politico in 2017. The degree to which Trump would rely on his sister’s advice is not clear, however, although it’s hard to see how it would hurt Hardiman’s chances.
Maryanne Trump Barry Was Nominated to the Court by Both Bill Clinton & Reagan
According to Politifact, Barry was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit by President Bill Clinton in 1999 but was previously a federal judge for the U.S. District Court in New Jersey, a position she was nominated to hold by Ronald Reagan.
President Ronald Reagan nominated her for that post in 1983. “Barry Trump, a Manhattan resident, became a federal court judge in Newark in 1983 and was elevated to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in 1999,” reports WNYC.
Some Conservatives Strongly Dislike Maryanne Trump Barry Due to Her Positions on Abortion
Being boosted by Maryanne Trump Barry can be a double-edged sword. That’s because some conservatives are extremely unhappy with her record on abortion. Senator Ted Cruz said during the campaign that Trump’s sister “is a hardcore pro-abortion liberal judge,” according to Politifact.
According to Politifact, the ruling that most enraged conservatives came in 2000 and held that a “New Jersey law banning partial-birth abortions” was unconstitutional. In that ruling, Barry wrote, “It is clear that the Act is unconstitutional because it creates an undue burden on a woman’s right to obtain an abortion.” However, Politifact noted that conservative justice Samuel Alito sided with Barry in that decision.
WNYC reports that Barry also has expressed pro immigration viewpoints in contrast to her brother and once referred to him as P.T. Barnum.