Billionaire industrialist Peter Thiel has allegedly told friends Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has privately promised to nominate him to the U.S. Supreme Court, should he prevail in the November election.
Using unnamed sources, the Huffington Post reports that Thiel has quietly told close friends that Trump plans to place him on the high court to succeed the last Justice Antonin Scalia. They further report that anonymous sources in the GOP nominee’s “inner circle” support the move, and that Trump himself “deeply loves Peter Thiel.” The tech tycoon, who identifies as a libertarian, endorsed Trump and spoke at the Republican National Convention in July.
Before transitioning into venture capital, Thiel graduated from Stanford Law School and clerked for Judge James Larry Edmondson of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He later joined Sullivan & Cromwell, a white-shoe New York firm, where he practiced for less than a year. Only one other sitting member of the bench, Justice Elena Kagan, was not an appeals judge before ascending to the high court. (RELATED: Conservative Legal Experts Say SCOTUS Pick Isn’t Good Enough Incentive To Vote For Trump)
If confirmed, Thiel would be the first openly-gay justice on the Court.
Trump has previously released a list of 11 possible Supreme Court nominees. The list was complied in consultation with the Federalist Society, a conservative and libertarian legal forum, and the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. The campaign says the list is not exhaustive, but is “representative of the kind of constitutional principles I value and, as president, I plan to use this list as a guide to nominate our next United States Supreme Court justices.”
He has previously joked about elevating his sister, Judge Maryann Trump Barry, to the Supreme Court. Trump Barry, a Clinton appointee, is senior judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Though some conservative commentators have attacked her “creative pro-choice epistemology,” she spoke in favor of Justice Samuel Alito’s appointment to the Supreme Court in 2005.
Both Thiel and the Trump campaign have denied to the Huffington Post report. “There is absolutely no truth to this whatsoever,” Trump campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks said. A Thiel spokesman says he has no interest in the job.
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