He's expected to announce his final pick on Monday evening.
By themselves, Democrats can't stop the Republican-run Senate from confirming President Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick.
But most news reports of late have focused on these three, 53-year-old Brett Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge in Washington; 51-year-old Raymond Kethledge from the appeals court based in Cincinnati; and 46-year-old Amy Coney Barrett from the appeals court in Chicago.
Lee, a constitutional lawyer by trade, has expressed interest in serving on the Supreme Court, even going as far to admit that if asked, he "would not say no".
The vacancy left by Kennedy's retirement gives Trump a second opportunity to re-shape the high court. Conservative groups, meanwhile, have sought to sway the president's decision-making - including a whisper campaign against Kavanaugh over everything from his ties to the George W. Bush administration to an ObamaCare ruling. The "person that is chosen will be outstanding".
"The short-term gain of going nuclear was enormous", he said. On Wednesday, Sen. Susan Collins, a moderate Republican from ME, reiterated that she could not vote for a nominee with a "demonstrated hostility" to Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that established a woman's right to an abortion.
Thai navy SEALS say four soccer team members have been rescued
The boys, ages 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach became stranded when they went exploring in the cave after a practice game. When he checked it at 7 p.m., there were at least 20 calls from anxious parents, none of whose sons had come home.
On a call with associates on Monday, Cruz warned that Kavanaugh is the sort of "unreliable" jurist by whom Republicans have been disappointed in the past, and he has worked to bolster the prospects of his colleague, Sen.
The source told Reuters that Amy Coney Barrett of IN, a judge on the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, was still IN contention but that the Republican president had been asking more questions about the other two, who have more extensive judicial records. Mr. Pence hasn't met with any of the other candidates, according to a White House official. Along with the top three, he interviewed this week federal appeals judges Amul Thapar, Thomas Hardiman and Joan Larsen. He is a graduate of the University of MI, where he received both his Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctorate degrees.
Savoring the suspense, Trump has sought to keep people guessing in the final hours, hoping to replicate his successful announcement of Justice Neil Gorsuch a year ago. After his clerkships, he joined one of Michigan's top law firms before becoming in-house counsel for Ford Motor Company.
"Over at Yale, university spokesman Tom Conroy echoed Jackson, noting the school's admissions practices are in" compliance with the Supreme Court's interpretation of the law".
Thus began life on The List - the longest and most public collection of potential presidential Supreme Court nominees in history. While no one knows for sure how each of the president's candidates will vote on certain issues, Carolyn Shapiro, a Supreme Court expert with Kent College of Law, said overturning Roe v. Wade may be a safe bet based on how Trump came up with his list of nominees. "When the Republicans thought they had the votes to repeal healthcare, the American people spoke up - went to town hall meetings, marched - and the Senate heard them".
Partisan rancor has flamed since Kennedy announced last week that he would be retiring after more than three decades on the Supreme Court. Just about every nominee they've put up there has voted the way they wanted on just about every single issue.