Judge Andrew Napolitano of Fox News fame reportedly told confidants that President Donald Trump is considering appointing him to the Supreme Court, should another vacancy arise during his administration.
Politico, citing a single anonymous source, reports that an individual close to Napolitano said that Trump told the judge during the transition that he was part of the crop of candidates he was considering for his first appointment to the high court.
“He said, ‘Trump said I’m on the list,'” the unnamed source said. “He’s been saying that since the transition.”
No one involved in the judicial selection process has confirmed to The Daily Caller News Foundation that Napolitano is even being considered for an appointment to the federal bench.
Trump met with Napolitano at least once to discuss the Supreme Court during transition, though the meeting was dedicated to a discussion of other candidates.
“We discussed the judicial attitudes, judicial temperament, judicial ideology, and candidates for the court,” Napolitano said of the meeting.
The president nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia on Jan. 31. His nomination is currently pending before the Senate.
Napolitano is a graduate of Princeton and Notre Dame Law School. He served on the New Jersey Superior Court from 1987 to 1995, when he left the bench to enter private practice. He held adjunct appointments on the faculties of several law schools, and has written nine books on various legal topics.
He joined Fox News as a legal analyst and commentator in 1998. He has anchored various programs for the network and its subsidiary Fox Business over the past two decades. Since becoming a public figure, his on-air comments on several topics have elicited criticism for many quarters, and recently resulted in his suspension. For example, Napolitano suggested the federal government had not been forthcoming with respect to the 9/11 terror attacks.
“I think 20 years from now, people will look at 9/11 the way we look at the assassination of JFK today,” he told Alex Jones in 2010. “It couldn’t possibly have been done the way the government told us.”
He is currently suspended from Fox News after he claimed — citing three anonymous sources — that President Barack Obama had order a wiretap of Trump Tower in New York prior to the election. No evidence has emerged corroborating this allegation, though the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Rep. Devin Nunes, has suggested Trump aides may have been subject to or caught up in other forms of surveillance.
All told, Napolitano appears an unlikely nominee in several respects. In addition to his controversial statements about surveillance and 9/11, his resume does not match those of recent nominees. The last Supreme Court justice elevated to the high court directly from a state court was Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in 1981. Seven of the eight justices currently on the bench had extensive experience as federal appeals judges before their appointment. He would also likely struggle through a confirmation process that incentivizes evasiveness, as his views on practically every high-profile controversy of law are well known.
The president referred to Napolitano as a “very talented legal mind,” earlier this month during a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
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