Trump Builds Suspense Over Supreme Court Pick, but Battlelines Are Already Drawn

US Supreme Court

US Supreme Court

The ads will simply tell viewers who the nominee is and explain why they are qualified to sit on the Supreme Court. He works for Washington-based lobbying firm Covington & Burling.

After winning confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch a year ago, Trump has teased his latest options for days, after narrowing down his list of prospects to four federal appeals-court judges: Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Raymond Kethledge and Thomas Hardiman.

The choice could be made all the more hard for Casey if Trump nominates Thomas Hardiman, now serving as a judge on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals which covers part of Pennsylvania, and who was first appointed to serve in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh in 2003. Michigan's Kethledge is on the 6th Circuit, while Indiana's Barrett is on the 7th Circuit. Trump insisted he still hadn't locked down his decision, which he wants to keep under wraps until a 9 p.m. Monday announcement from the White House.

Kyl also was a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will hold a hearing on Trump's choice for the court. The president has spent the days leading up to his announcement discussing the pros and cons of various contenders with aides and allies.

Trump is hoping to replicate his successful nomination of Justice Gorsuch a year ago. Doug Jones of Alabama.

Even though Mr. Trump's new nominee won't have to get 60 votes because of the nuclear option, getting to 51 might still be a struggle.

More important still was the role played by campaign lawyer (and now White House counsel) Donald McGahn, who has been the curator of the list, which has expanded from 11 to 25. "A judge must be independent, must interpret the law, not make the law, must interpret statutes as written, and must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent", Kavanaugh said.

Trump has moved quickly to make a nomination while Republicans hold a bare majority in the Senate, which needs to approve the appointment. "I was a little bit comforted knowing I was not overreacting in my deep malaise", said Stacy Hawkins, a professor at Rutgers Law School in Camden.

Heitkamp also said she wouldn't attend.

Hardiman was nominated to the federal trial court by George W. Bush in 2003 and to the 3rd Circuit in 2007, when he was confirmed by the Senate in a 95-0 vote. It'll likely be a name on the list that President Trump compiled while he was campaigning for the presidency, which has already been vetted by conservative groups.

A senior White House official said Trump made his final decision on the nomination Sunday evening, then phoned Kavanaugh to inform him.

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer called Trump recently to warn it would be "cataclysmic" for national unity if he nominated someone hostile to Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that protects women's rights to abortion, according to a person familiar with the discussion.

"This list is the bidding of corporate special interests hell-bent on handing health care over to insurance companies, crushing unions that represent working men and women, and promoting policies that will leave the middle-class further behind", said Sen. He's an appeals court judge - federal appeals court judge in D.C. And heading into the weekend, he was seen as a favorite. She is a well-known conservative whose past comments on abortion drew attention at her Senate confirmation hearing. After Gorsuch was announced, there was suspicion that Hardiman made the trip to serve as a kind of decoy.

The issue even prompted moderate Republican Sen. Barrett is a member of the obscure Catholic group People of Praise, which Vox reports requires members to "swear an oath of loyalty and give each other input on personal life decisions".

Outside adviser Leonard Leo, now on leave from the Federalist Society, said on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that this kind of jockeying is standard, noting that "every potential nominee before announcement gets concerns expressed about them by people who might ultimately support them".

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