Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Here Are Trump’s Reported ‘Final Four’ Picks for Supreme Court Justice

Here Are Trump’s Reported ‘Final Four’ Picks for Supreme Court Justice

The president touted Kavanaugh's record on the court, noting the Supreme Court has adopted more than a dozen of his rulings as the law of the land.

President Donald Trump named Judge Brett Kavanaugh his nominee to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court Monday evening, setting Republicans up for a confirmation battle prior to the fall's midterm elections.

Previously, the three front-runners for the nomination have been seen as Kavanaugh, who serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; Michigan's Kethledge, from the 6th Circuit; and Indiana's Barrett, from the 7th Circuit. 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.

But, walking up to Trump's primetime special, D.C. circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh also widely considered to be the frontrunner, though Trump did not love his close connection to the Bush family.

"There is no one in America more qualified for this position and no one more deserving", said Trump, who called Kavanaugh "one of the sharpest legal minds of our time".

Favored by many Republicans for his work with Solicitor General Ken Starr to impeach President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, the Yale graduate also appears to have many critics.

Kavanaugh potentially could serve on the high court for decades.

"My introduction to the law came at our dinner table when she practiced her closing arguments", Kavanaugh said. He was appointed to that post by President George W. Bush, after serving as Bush's White House staff secretary. Those who would limit or end abortion praised the choice, while those who aim to expand and preserve abortion rights were critical. But if Kavanaugh is Trump's choice, he likely would step away from pending cases.

Trump defeated Clinton's wife, Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 presidential election and has disparaged both Clintons.

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The process is arduous, with the private meetings giving way to days of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has promised to push for confirmation with similar speed.

The Republican caucus has a 51-49 advantage in the Senate, but one key member, Sen. Trump is poised to make his announcement at 9 p.m. ET.

"We are hopeful that Susan Collins does not want her legacy to be putting somebody on the bench for the next 30 or 40 years who will undermine the things she has professed to fight for throughout her career", said Daniel Goldberg, legal director at the Alliance for Justice, a liberal advocacy group.

In an earlier interview on "This Week", Stephanopoulos asked Leonard Leo, who is on leave from the conservative Federalist Society to advise Trump on his Supreme Court pick, about the concern that anyone on Trump's list of potential nominees would oppose Roe v. Wade.

Indicating that importance, Mr Trump called it "one of the most profound responsibilities of a president" to appoint a SC justice. In confirming Trump's first Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, Republicans eliminated the 60-vote requirement to advance a nomination to the high court.

In that ruling, he said the majority was creating a "new right for unlawful immigrant minors in USA government detention to obtain immediate abortion on demand, barring any government efforts to expeditiously transfer the minors to their immigration sponsors before they make that momentous life decision".

"Fundamentally, it's been a precedent for a long time", she said.

Perhaps the most intense issue that advocacy groups will focus on during the contested confirmation hearings to follow will be whether Kavanaugh may vote to overturn the seminal 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that ruled that the right to abortion was constitutionally protected.

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