Thomas Hardiman, one of Trump's Supreme Court finalists, lost out on the nomination twice in a row

  • Thomas Hardiman, the Third Circuit US Court of Appeals judge who was among President Donald Trump’s top picks to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, lost to Brett Kavanaugh on Monday.
  • Trump announced he would nominate Kavanaugh, nearly two weeks after Kennedy said he was preparing to leave the bench.
  • Hardiman was in the same position 18 months ago, when he was runner-up to Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee.

Thomas Hardiman, a Third Circuit US Court of Appeals judge, has now lost out on a US Supreme Court nomination twice in 18 months.

Hardiman was among four of President Donald Trump’s top picks to the high court in recent days. Trump announced on Monday night that he would nominate Brett Kavanaugh, currently a US Court of Appeals judge for the District of Columbia, to the seat being vacated by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Kennedy said last month that he would retire from the high court.

Kavanaugh is Trump’s second Supreme Court pick in 18 months. The president nominated Neil Gorsuch, his first Supreme Court nominee, for the seat left open by the late Justice Antonin Scalia last year.

On both occasions, Hardiman was among Trump’s top candidates. This year, he landed among the final four. Last year, he was runner-up to Gorsuch.

During this year’s selection process, Hardiman seemed to be gaining momentum, Business Insider’s Allan Smith reported on Monday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was among those who tried to steer Trump in Kavanaugh’s direction. Trump’s sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, also a Third Circuit court judge, expressed her preference for Hardiman last year, according to Politico.

Ultimately, Trump went his own way, giving Kavanaugh the nod and, once again, leaving Hardiman on the sidelines.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.