Trump is handling the selection of a Supreme Court justice as if he were casting a reality show.
The horror of Trump picking the next justice on the Supreme Court is being compounded by reporting that his selection process is frightfully unserious.
Trump has been making clear all along that he intends to appoint justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade and quash Affordable Care Act. Now, recent news reports reveal a Trump nominee will also have to go through a casting process based on their appearance and "feel."
According to Politico, Trump thinks it is very important for a nominee to look the part:
"Beyond the qualifications, what really matters is, does this nominee fit a central casting image for a Supreme Court nominee, as well as his or her spouse," the Republican close to the White House said. "That's a big deal. Do they fit the role?"
Another source quoted in the piece said that an "all-American" look would appeal to Trump.
The reporting also notes that the top woman contender, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, "lacks the Harvard and Yale degrees Trump has said he is looking for in a nominee."
That's consistent with another recent report from the Washington Post, in which an unnamed White House adviser noted Trump's preference for "name-brand degrees," but also that Trump's concern for academic excellence is purely superficial:
He also wants to see a portfolio of solid academic writing, though this adviser acknowledged that Trump does not care to read it; he simply wants to know it exists.
Trump's personal comfort level with a nominee will also play a large role in his selection process, according to Axios:
A White House official involved in the vetting process tells me that President Trump's Supreme Court pick will come down to "who he feels most comfortable with in a personal setting."
Trump's has a history of getting to know people by trying to extract pledges of loyalty from them, and it's especially relevant now.
As Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and others have noted, a Trump nominee, if confirmed, would hold the deciding vote in any matters relating to the Mueller investigation if they wound up before the Supreme Court.
Trump has chosen to put ultra-conservative organizations like the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation in charge of vetting his potential nominees, and their hostility toward crucial rights is a sad fact of life.
Now Trump's further insulting us by prioritizing what his nominees look like.