Supreme Court Justice, Anthony Kennedy is stepping down, and now begins the search for his replacement.
           

With Justice Kennedy’s exit looming, eyes are turning to a 2017 list released by the White House.

The list has 25 of President Trump's top picks for potential replacement judges

President Trump said his administration will begin their search "immediately."

 


And listed as a potential replacement is United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals judge, Thomas Hardiman.

Hardiman has operated out of the western district of Pennsylvania since 2007 when he was appointed by then-President George W. Bush.

The Pittsburgh republican was the runner-up to 2017 Supreme Court appointee, Neil Gorsuch.

Political Analyst and Chair of the Political Science department at Penn State Behrend, Robert Speel says Hardiman is a conservative at his core.

And just like Justice Kennedy, he has been known to take a moderate stance on certain issues.

Speel points to a one-seat Republican majority in the Senate as a possible make-or-break scenario for Hardiman's chances at being appointed

With elections looming at the end of the year, Speel says the race may be on for President Trump to make his appointment

"Conservatives may be celebrating to choose a nominee to replace Kennedy, I think Trump may actually have to move in a slightly more moderate direction, just to ensure Senate confirmation."  Speel said

Despite his more moderate lean, Speel says he would not be surprised if President Trump appointed Hardiman.

The full list can be found below (Source/ White House- November 17, 2017)