Although Leo cautioned he would "never assume a front-runner," he spoke highly of Gorsuch, who sits on the bench of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.
"He has very, very distinguished background," Leo said. "He has probably 200 or so published opinions as an appeals clerk judge. They are extremely eloquently written, they're incisive, understandable, clear, opinionated."
“If you want to move the country’s jurisprudence in the right direction, you need people who are clear in their thinking and in their writing and who are going to be in the position to educate the broader legal community and the public at large about what’s at stake in these cases,” he said.
Among other traits Trump wants in a potential justice: someone who is "extraordinarily talented," who is "going to be respected by all" and "who's going to stick to his guns."
“There’s going to be a lot of disagreement, a lot of debate, but I’m not sure it’s going to turn out to be as disagreeable as people may have thought right after the election,” he said, but added that it’s “still very much up in the air.”
Speaking to Trump’s potential overreach of the Constitution, Leo countered that “there’s no human being who would hold the office of the president who would not be challenged by the temptation of doing what you think is right.” However, he said that the president’s staff and his commitment to populism would ultimately keep him in check.
“I think that this is a bit of a distraction from other things that we’re doing right now that are important,” he said. “But look there’s been a debate about voter fraud in this country for a long time.”