Trump Continues Remake of Supreme Court With Pick Tonight

Mandel Ngan  AFP  Getty Images

Mandel Ngan AFP Getty Images

Two other judges, Amul Thapar and Joan Larsen have also been considered by the President.

President Trump has made his Supreme Court justice pick: Judge Brett Kavanaugh. The appellate court judge in Washington has a "slight" advantage, John Malcolm of the Heritage Foundation, who helped shape Trump's list of possible justices, said Sunday on Fox News.

President Donald Trump has announced U.S. Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his second U.S. Supreme Court justice pick less than two years into his presidency.

The White House might believe, if it is faced at some point with replacing liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, 85, that nominating a woman then could blunt opposition - even though they have, in many cases, polar opposite views of the law.

Kennedy was often a member of five-to-four majority decisions on the high court. Kavanaugh, who serves on the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, is expected to be less receptive to abortion and gay rights than Kennedy was.

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Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of SC and Roy Blunt of Missouri said Sunday that they believe any of the top four contenders could get confirmed by the GOP-majority Senate. 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.

But McConnell said Monday that senators should give Kavanaugh "the fairness, respect, and seriousness that a Supreme Court nomination ought to command".

Trump plans to unveil his choice on television Monday at 9 p.m. Those who promote a woman's right to choose an abortion were upset with a Kavanaugh ruling against an immigrant teenager in federal custody who sought an immediate abortion.

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

Conservatives will focus on moderate Democrats running for re-election in Trump country, such as Indiana's Joe Donnelly, North Dakota's Heidi Heitkamp and West Virginia's Joe Manchin. His boosters, sensing this weekend that Hardiman could be ascending on the president's list, have been busy making phone calls to friends in Trump's inner circle.

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"Red-state Democrats are going to have a very hard decision, and I hope that every Republican will rally behind these picks because they're all outstanding", Sen.

During the last Supreme Court confirmation of Colorado's Neil Gorsuch, Republicans changed Senate rules to eliminate filibusters for Supreme Court nominees and confirm them by simple majority.

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Republican Senator Susan Collins of ME has said she couldn't support a nominee that doesn't respect legal precedent and would overturn the "settled law" of Roe V. Wade.

As a Democrat in a red state, Jones faces more pressure to support the President than other Democrats in the Senate already opposing Trump's potential nominee.

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Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has repeatedly said she would only support Trump's nominee if they respected precedent set by Roe v. Wade when it comes to abortion rights. When the court he serves on upheld a New Jersey law requiring a gun owner to obtain a permit to carry a gun in public places and show "a justifiable need" to carry the gun, Hardiman dissented, chastising the majority for upholding a law that dates to 1966 (and arguably 1924) as insufficiently long-standing.

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