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Here's everything you need to know about Trump's Supreme Court candidates

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Here's everything you need to know about Trump's Supreme Court candidates

WATCH | President Donald Trump's choice to fill the vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court will be revealed Tuesday night, and if Trump picks any of the men he's said to be considering, conservatives have a lot to be excited about.  


UPDATE 12:35 p.m.:

Trump is said to be favoring Neil Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, CNN reported Tuesday, citing anonymous sources. However, those sources said Trump could still change his mind. 

However, both Gorsuch and Thomas Hardiman, who are both on Trump's short list for the job, are heading to Washington before Trump announces his pick at 8 p.m. 

The big decision is coming Tuesday at 8 p.m., the president said on Twitter. 

Three white men in the running

Multiple news outlets are reporting that Trump's shortlist for the seat vacated by the late Antonin Scalia last year has been winnowed down to three men: Neil Gorsuch,  William Pryor Jr., and Thomas Hardiman.

All three men are federal judges who were appointed by former president George W. Bush, and all are widely considered to hold conservative ideology. But other than that, the three men differ in a number of ways.

On Monday, Trump's press secretary accidentally said the choice would be a man.

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This photo provided by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals shows Judge Neil Gorsuch. President Donald Trump has narrowed his choice to fill the Supreme Court vacancy to three judges and said he expects to make his decision in the coming days. The leading contenders, who all have met with Trump, are Gorsuch, William Pryor and Thomas Hardiman, the person said, speaking anonymously because he was not authorized to speak publicly about internal decisions. (10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals via AP)

First on Trump's short list is Neil Gorsuch, who currently serves on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. He's an Ivy League-educated attorney who his colleagues say would be an ideological dead-ringer for the late Justice Antonin Scalia. 

Gorsuch: The originalist

Like Scalia, Gorsuch is a proponent of originalism -- the idea that the Constitution should be interpreted exactly how the authors intended it in mean in 1787.

Gorsuch is also well-known for his decisions regarding birth control. He's long argued that businesses should not be required to provide contraception coverage to employees if the business owners have a religious objection.

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FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2016 file photo, Judge William Pryor, U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit speaks in Washington. President Donald Trump has narrowed his choice to fill the Supreme Court vacancy to three judges and said he expects to make his decision in the coming days. The leading contenders, who all have met with Trump, are William Pryor, Neil Gorsuch and Thomas Hardiman, the person said, speaking anonymously because he was not authorized to speak publicly about internal decisions. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

Next up is William Pryor, who is arguably Trump's most controversial option. That's because if he's chosen, he'd be the only Supreme Court justice to have ever been a politician, as Alabama's twice-elected attorney general.


Polarizing Pryor

Pryor -- who is a justice on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals -- is also just plain politically polarizing. Liberal critics call him a right-wing extremist, citing his stances against abortion rights and supporting voter identification laws.

Pryor most famously once called the abortion decision Roe v. Wade the "worst abomination of constitutional law in our history." He also once supported states' rights to "make consenting private homosexual conduct a crime."

Too right, or too left?

Conservative critics, however, think Pryor is too liberal. That's because as a judge, he once ruled that employers can't discriminate against employees for their gender identity -- effectively siding with the transgender community. 

The conservative Judicial Action Group has taken that ruling to mean that Pryor "would not be a constitutionalist on the Supreme Court.”

In this photo taken Nov. 17, 2016, Judge Thomas Hardiman, federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is seen in Washington. President Donald Trump has narrowed his choice to fill the Supreme Court vacancy to three judges and said he expects to make his decision in the coming days. The leading contenders, who all have met with Trump, are Hardiman, William Pryor and Neil Gorsuch, the person said, speaking anonymously because he was not authorized to speak publicly about internal decisions. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
In this photo taken Nov. 17, 2016, Judge Thomas Hardiman, federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is seen in Washington. President Donald Trump has narrowed his choice to fill the Supreme Court vacancy to three judges and said he expects to make his decision in the coming days. The leading contenders, who all have met with Trump, are Hardiman, William Pryor and Neil Gorsuch, the person said, speaking anonymously because he was not authorized to speak publicly about internal decisions. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Last on the list is Thomas Hardiman, a conservative judge with a  backstory similar to many Americans. He grew up in a blue collar town, and was the first in his family to graduate college. 

Trump's sister's buddy

Today, Hardiman serves on the same court that President Trump's sister serves on -- the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. Trump's sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, has reportedly spoken highly of Hardiman, which could factor into Trump's decision.

On that court, Hardiman has been seen as pro-gun rights and pro-death penalty. He has not weighed in on abortion rights.

Senate Democrats introduced a bill to block Trump's travel ban

WATCH  | For more news you need, check out our 60 Second Circa.

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