A Supreme Court Nomination Kicks Off A Busy Week For The President

  • Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! President Trump is expected to use a prime-time television address on Monday to announce whom he will nominate as the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. The president was reported on Sunday to be giving another look at Judge Thomas Hardiman, a colleague of Mr. Trump’s sister on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. Other finalists are said to be Judge Brett Kavanaugh, thought to be the front-runner, and Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a social conservative whose confirmation would give the court its first-ever 5-4 male-female split.
  • As members of the Senate Judiciary Committee dig in to begin studying the nominee’s record on judicial and other matters, the Supreme Court will be the subject of other conversations this week as well, as the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday has “Scholars & Scribes Review the Rulings: The Supreme Court’s 2017-2018 Term,” and the Federalist Society on Friday hosts its “2018 Supreme Court Round-Up.”
  • Soon after announcing his Supreme Court pick, President Trump will depart U.S. soil for Brussels, where he will join other Heads of State and Government on Wednesday and Thursday for the NATO Summit. The president’s last meeting with several of these same leaders ended in conflict, when Trump refused to allow the U.S. to join the others in ratifying a joint statement. He also has berated other NATO countries for not paying what he says is their fair share of the alliance’s costs. On Thursday, the Hudson Institute hosts “Transatlantic Crossroads: What to Expect from the NATO Summit.
  • For a view of how certain members of Congress view America’s interactions with its Western allies, tune in on Wednesday morning to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which hosts a hearing on “Advancing U.S. Interests in the Western Hemisphere,” or to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which asks “What is the Future for America’s Alliances?”
  • From Brussels, President Trump will head to the United Kingdom, where his visit is expected to include an audience with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle on Friday. The president will spent most of his time outside London, avoiding a large, anti-Trump rally scheduled for Friday. Late Friday, he will depart for Scotland for a weekend of golf before traveling to Helsinki for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 16.
  • A frequent topic during President Trump’s European holiday is likely to be international trade and tariffs that the U.S. has threatened or imposed on imports from Europe and Asia. Tariffs will also be the subject of plenty of discussions around D.C., beginning Wednesday with a House Foreign Affairs hearing on “China’s Predatory Trade and Investment Strategy,” followed Thursday by a Senate Foreign Relations hearing on “Tariffs: Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy and the International Economy.” Also Thursday, ITIF hosts “U.S.-China Trade War: Where’s It Going and Who Will Win?” while the Stimson Center asks “War or Deal? The Impact of Trade on the East Asian Economies.”
  • Amid all this talk on international trade, Steven Mnuchin, who oversees the nation’s purse strings, will repair to Capitol Hill on Thursday to visit the House Committee on Financial Services for “The Annual Testimony of the Secretary of the Treasury on the State of the International Financial System.”
  • Just four short months remain before the Mid-Term Elections, and it’s anybody’s guess which party has the best odds of winning a majority of the seats in each chamber of Congress. How some Senate Democrats vote on the president’s Supreme Court nomination will play a role, as will the effect of all those tariffs on American business. On Tuesday, the Ripon Society takes a look at the Republicans’ strategy for holding onto both houses with its “Mid-Term Preview.”
  • Of course, we’ve not yet finished picking apart the last election, the question of Russian interference therein and just how protected the nation’s election systems are against any further hijinks. On Thursday, a joint hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Judiciary Committee hears from FBI Assistant Director Peter Strzok about “Oversight of FBI and DOJ Actions Surrounding the 2016 Election.”
  • While those committees take a look back, two other panels will try to take a simultaneous look ahead to November’s balloting. On Wednesday morning, the House Committee on Homeland Security looks at “DHS’s Progress in Securing Election Systems and Other Critical Infrastructure,” while at the same time on the other end of the Capitol the Senate Rules and Administration Committee examines “Election Security Preparations: Federal and Vendor Perspectives.”