Trump has decided his Supreme Court nominee as parties prepare for fight

10 Juillet, 2018, 01:12 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau

We're just hours away from President Trump making his official announcement from the White House about who will replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court.

"I'm very close to making a decision", Trump said.

Former New Hampshire Sen.

Trump has reportedly narrowed the pool of candidates to four federal appeals court judges.

Leonard Leo, who is on leave from the Federalist Society and has been advising Trump over the court nomination, said he assumes Kavanaugh, Barrett, Hardiman and Kethledge "are the four" who are getting the most focus.

The Judicial Crisis Network (JCN), whose leaders pushed Justice Neil Gorsuch over the finish line previous year, are getting their war chests ready.

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of CT, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said the president "outsourced" his decision to the conservative Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation, which first helped Trump compile a list of 25 prospective Supreme Court justices during the 2016 campaign. But the situation appeared to remain fluid.

Hardiman has a personal connection to the president, having served with Trump's sister on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. He helped finance his law degree at the Georgetown University Law Center by driving a taxi.

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Some conservatives have expressed concerns about Kavanaugh _ a longtime judge and former clerk for Kennedy _ questioning his commitment to social issues like abortion and noting his time serving under President George W. Bush as evidence he is a more establishment choice. A former aide to a Republican senator, Kethledge also previously worked as an in-house lawyer for Ford Motor Co.

Barrett - a longtime Notre Dame Law School professor who became a federal appeals judge last fall - excited social conservatives with her testimony when she was questioned about her Roman Catholic faith in her nomination hearings previous year.

Barrett of IN, 46, serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. He co-authored a book with Army veteran Mike Erwin of The Positivity Project published a year ago called "Lead Yourself First: Inspiring Leadership Through Solitude".

Trump has enjoyed teasing details of his process in recent days, saying Thursday that he was down to four people and "of the four people, I have it down to three or two". On Sunday he was back to citing "the four people". Though Kennedy is a conservative, he was often a swing vote on big decisions, such as same-sex marriage, abortion and affirmative action. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) told the president over the weekend that Hardiman and Kethledge would face the fewest obstacles to confirmation.

"I think we can confirm any of the four names being mentioned", Blunt said on NBC's 'Meet the Press.' "They're good judges".

Casey says the list of judges Trump has used to find a Supreme Court nominee is the "fruit of a corrupt process straight from the D.C. swamp". "And I expect we'll do that on sort of a normal timetable of a couple of months".

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".

"Certainly, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Barrett have a lot of name recognition among supporters of the president, and I think that ultimately, when people like them are nominated, you'll see a lot of folks line up", he said.

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