WASHINGTON, Jan 25 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he will make his choice to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 2 as he seeks to restore the conservative majority on the Supreme Court.
Trump announced the date in Twitter message one day after meeting with key U.S. senators and promising to unveil his nominee to fill the vacancy left by the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia nearly a year ago.
Three U.S. appeals court judges are among those under close consideration by Trump, who took office last Friday and had said he would act on a nominee next week.
Image Courtesy of University of Miami school of Law
UNDATED PHOTO - This undated photo, courtesy of the Alabama Attorney General's office, shows Alabama Attorney General William H. Pryor Jr. Amidst overwhelming controversy, the Senate Judiciary Committee July 30, 2003 approved, 10-9, Pryor's nomination to be a judge on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The nomination would grant him a lifetime seat on the Court of Appeals. (Photo by Alabama Attorney General's Office/Getty Images)
Judge Amul Thapar
Image courtesy of Vanderbilt University
Judge David Stras
Image courtesy of th Minnesota Judicial Branch
Judge Don Willett
Image courtesy of Texas Civil Justice League
Judge Robert Young
Image courtesy of the Michigan Courts
Allison Eid of Colorado
(Photo By Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Diane Sykes of Wisconsin
(Photo by George Bridges/MCT/MCT via Getty Images)
House Manager Charles Canady on Capitol Hill January 25.
Justice Joan Larsen of the Michigan Supreme Court and a former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks at his memorial service at the Mayflower Hotel March 1, 2016 in Washington, DC. Justice Scalia died February 13 while on a hunting trip in Texas. (Photo by Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Images)
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Appointment as a Supreme Court justice requires Senate confirmation for the lifetime post. Trump's fellow Republicans control the Senate with a 52-48 majority, but Democrats could potentially try to block the nomination using procedural hurdles.
On Tuesday, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said he told Trump in the meeting that Democrats would fight any nominee they consider to be outside the mainstream.
Trump is in position to name Scalia's replacement because the Republican-led U.S. Senate last year refused to consider Democratic President Barack Obama's nominee, appeals court judge Merrick Garland.
The current frontrunners include three conservative jurists who were appointed to the bench by Republican former President George W. Bush: Neil Gorsuch, a judge on the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; Thomas Hardiman, who serves on the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; and William Pryor, a judge on the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.