Sen. Leahy Waits To See Who Trump Nominates For Supreme Court Slot

Mandel Ngan  AFP  Getty Images

Mandel Ngan AFP Getty Images

He is now a lobbyist in the Washington headquarters of Covington & Burling.

After winning confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch past year, 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.

President Trump is slated to announce his nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy tonight. Michigan's Kethledge is on the 6th Circuit, while Indiana's Barrett is on the 7th Circuit.

But White House officials cautioned that Trump's informal conversations with golf partners and friends did not necessarily hint at whom he would ultimately select, a decision that could tilt the bench to the right for decades.

The court could also be called upon to render judgment on issues of personal significance to Trump and his administration including matters arising from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing Russia-related investigation and several civil lawsuits pending against Trump.

Kennedy announced his plans for retirement in June.

Is it likely that Trump will get to nominate another Supreme Court justice? "He hasn't committed to how he is going to vote on the nominee", Severino said about Jones, who has supported abortion rights. Graham said on "Fox News Sunday".

On Monday before Trump announced his nominee, the White House sent out the list again and touted Trump's selection process.

"I've never seen a president of the United States, in effect, make himself a puppet of outside groups and choose from a group of right-wing fringe ideologues that are prepared on this list", Mr. Blumenthal said on ABC's "This Week".

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Heitkamp also said she wouldn't attend. President Donald Trump: "Well, it's still-let's say it's the four people, but-and they're excellent, every one".

With Democrats determined to vigorously oppose Trump's choice, the Senate confirmation battle is expected to dominate the months leading up to November's midterm elections.

Trump kept the suspense running through the weekend, teasing the announcement for maximum dramatic effect, but by Monday afternoon was reported to have made his pick among a shortlist of four judges, all with solid right-wing credentials. Leo pointed out that in the 36 years after the decision, only one justice on the Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas, has explicitly said that e would overturn Roe v. Wade. The announcement is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile, liberal groups like NARAL Pro-Choice, Protect our Care and Demand Justice are pouring millions into ad campaigns of their own, drawing attention to what a conservative-leaning justice might mean for abortion rights, in particular. In that same paper, Kavanaugh argued that the "indictment and trial of a sitting president...would cripple the federal government, rendering it unable to function with credibility in either the global or domestic arena" and that "even the lesser burdens of a criminal investigation...are time consuming and distracting".

Elected officials in NY, including Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, Sen. But it was the former Republican leader, Mississippi Sen. "And I believe this person will do a great job", he said. Unlike the current Justices, Hardiman doesn't have an Ivy League law degree - a fact Trump said on the 2016 presidential campaign trail was a positive factor for a potential nominee if he became President. His working-class roots - he drove a taxi during his days as a law student at Georgetown University - have been cited as a plus inside the White House, along with his conservative rulings.

Democrats in the past also have pointed to Kavanaugh's work for Bush during the 2000 recount fight, a controversy that was resolved only after the conservative-majority Supreme Court sided with Bush over Democratic candidate Al Gore, settling the election outcome.

Republicans hold a slim 51-49 Senate majority, and with ailing Senator John McCain battling cancer in his home state of Arizona they now can muster only 50 votes.

"They just didn't get it, but they do now!"

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