President Trump to announce Supreme Court nominee Tuesday

Last Updated: Monday, January 30, 2017, 3:58 PM EST

President Donald Trump has announced via Twitter that he will unveil his Supreme Court nominee Tuesday evening. 

  • Trump tweets he has made up mind on Supreme Court nomination
  • Announcement will be made Tuesday night, he said
  • Court has had 8 members since death last year of Justice Antonin Scalia

The president said in his tweet: "I have made my decision on who I will nominate for The United States Supreme Court. It will be announced live on Tuesday at 8:00 p.m."

Conservatives said they are confident that with Trump's nominee — he plans to announce the pick on Tuesday — they won't look back with regret in the years to come.

A person familiar with the selection process says the leading contenders are federal appeals courts judges Neil Gorsuch, Thomas Hardiman and William Pryor.

The court has been working with eight justices since the death last year of Justice Antonin Scalia.

President Barack Obama had nominated Merrick Garland for the post, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to take up the nomination.

A closer look at who President Trump could pick as his nominee:

Sources say one of Trump's top choices is 11th Circuit Judge Pryor, but Democrats would likely fight his nomination since Pryor once called Roe v. Wade “the worst abomination of constitutional law.”

On the other side, some conservatives have questioned an opinion he joined that they perceive as protecting transgender rights.

Less of a lightning rod than Pryor is Gorsuch who sits on a circuit appeals court in Denver. He’s known for his opinions on religious liberty including supporting the right of companies to deny contraception in their healthcare plans. A former U.S. attorney in Colorado holds him in high regard.

"He says what he means and means what he says, and comes down typically on the conservative side of the agenda,” said former U.S. Attorney Mike Norton.

Rounding out the shortlist is 3rd Circuit judge Hardiman. He’s got a blue collar background. He was the first in his family to graduate from college. Unlike the other justices, he’s not a product of the Ivy League having attended Notre Dame. He’s also got a personal connection to the president. Trump’s sister — Judge Maryanne Trump Barry — sits on the same appellate bench.

Information from the Associated Press and Spectrum News was used in this report.