WASHINGTON (CBSMiami/AP) — Special guests of President Donald Trump during his first address to a joint session of Congress include the widow of Justice Antonin Scalia as well as young women who have survived incredible odds, among others.
The group appears selected to highlight some of the president’s early actions in office, including his crackdown on people living in the country illegally with criminal backgrounds and his selection of Judge Neil Gorsuch to succeed the late Justice Scalia.
The guests who will be seated with first lady Melania Trump during the president’s speech are:
— Maureen McCarthy Scalia, the widow of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. She was also in the audience when Trump announced that federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch was his choice to succeed Scalia on the Supreme Court.
— Megan Crowley, who at 15 months old, according to the White House, was diagnosed with Pompe Disease, a rare and deadly inherited muscle-weakening condition. Crowley wasn’t expected to live more than a few years until her father founded a pharmaceutical company that helped develop a drug that kept her alive. Her story has been chronicled for years by the Wall Street Journal. She is now 20, according to the White House, and a sophomore at Notre Dame.
— Jessica Davis and Susan Oliver, whose husbands, California police officers Michael Davis Jr. and Danny Oliver, were killed in the line of duty in 2014 by a man living in the country illegally. The men are the namesakes of a bill aimed at stricter immigration law enforcement.
— Jamiel Shaw, Sr., whose son, a high school football player, was shot and killed by a person living in the country illegally in 2008 in California. Shaw spoke at many of Trump’s campaign rallies and delivered a searing speech about his son at the Republican convention.
— Denisha Merriweather, who has written about how her life changed because she was able to use the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program to attend a private high school. The president has advocated expanding such “voucher” programs as part of an effort to give parents more choices when it comes to where their kids go to school.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)