Trump has chosen his Supreme Court nominee, source says

Evarado Alatorre
Julio 10, 2018

President Trump announced Brett Kavanaugh as his pick for the next Supreme Court Justice Monday night from the White House.

President Donald Trump has decided on his Supreme Court nominee, a person with knowledge of the situation revealed today, hours before a prime-time TV announcement that will ignite a fierce confirmation battle.

Democrats have sounded the alarm that Trump could shift the ideological balance of the court and thereby place women's reproductive rights, health care and LGBT rights at risk. That view has particular relevance as special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign played any role in a foreign interference plot.

"A judge must be independent", he said. "That's the most important thing, someone who is not only going to be loyal to him personally but to the Republican Party".

Given Mr. Trump's current legal challenges, Kavanaugh's opinions on these issues are sure to be intensely scrutinized during his upcoming confirmation hearings. But Democrats had begun filibustering a number of Bush's judicial nominees, which Republicans saw as an affront to their agenda.

"I'll be deciding tonight or tomorrow sometime by 12 o'clock", he said.

Despite his involvement in the Starr investigation, Kavanaugh has written that Congress should pass a law protecting a sitting president from being subjected to civil suit.

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. But it's likely that supporters of abortion rights are still wondering about this issue.

While Trump has already made one pick for the high court since taking office in January 2017, the vacancy left by Kennedy, announced late last month, has weightier implications.

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The candidates on Trump's shortlist are Brett Kavanaugh, a former adviser to George W. Bush, Raymond Kethledge, a strict interpreter of the US Constitution, Amy Coney Barrett, a devout Catholic and social conservative, and Thomas Hardiman, a staunch gun rights advocate. Momentum appeared to be with Kavanaugh and Hardiman, though the process remained fluid.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised a vote on the nomination before the November midterms, ensuring the outcome will be an issue before voters. Trump is expected to pressure recalcitrant Senate Democrats into supporting his nominee by holding rallies in their states. Kennedy, a member of the Judiciary Committee, which will get the first chance to question the nominee, predicted a "rough, tough, down in the dirt, ear-pulling, nose-biting fight". While Supreme Court justices tend to respect precedents set by previous courts, such as 1973's Roe v. Wade decision, the new court could seriously curtail some rights without fully overturning them. Kennedy provided a decisive vote in 2015 on an important fair housing case.

Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri told NBC's "Meet The Press" the president should take note of that political reality in his choice. White House aides said they have prepared "rollout packages" for the four finalists.

Trump has been uncharacteristically circumspect about what he is thinking as the process has unfolded.

Kyl, a former member of Republican leadership, served on the Senate Judiciary Committee before retiring in 2013. He works for Washington-based lobbying firm Covington & Burling. Past year that seat was filled by Neil Gorsuch. The president's attention in the coming days will be on meetings in Europe.

There are three Democrats who voted for Gorsuch - Sens. It will feature cable and digital advertising in states including Alabama, Indiana, North Dakota and West Virginia.

Republicans control the Senate by a 51-49 majority, making any efforts by Democrats to thwart Trump's nominee an uphill battle.

That increases the focus on two Republicans - Sen. The two have supported access to abortion services.

Bob Casey (D-Pa.), who opposes abortion, announced on Monday he can not support a process that involved Trump's picking from a list of 25 candidates selected by conservatives and big business.

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