Trump narrows Supreme Court nominee to 4 names

Henrietta Brewer
July 10, 2018

President Trump said Sunday that he's "very close to making a final decision" on his nominee for the Supreme Court, adding that four people are on his final list: federal appellate court judges Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett, and Thomas Hardiman.

The reality-TV-star-turned-president will interrupt The Bachelorette to announce his choice in a live television broadcast from the White House at 9 p.m. ET on Monday night.

Hardiman could also have one important advocate.

They include Judge Raymond Kethledge, 51, who sits on the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals, who would puncture the Ivy League aura that cloaks the Supreme Court since he studied law at the University of MI and not Harvard or Yale.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump cross the South Lawn upon arrival at the White House on July 8, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

In the coming year the court might have to consider Trump's powers and rights in the investigation into links between his presidential campaign and Russian Federation, and whether he sought to obstruct that probe. "And their records are a little bit lighter". He is seen as an "originalist" a conservative school that seeks to interpret the US Constitution based on the thinking of the country's founding leaders more than two centuries ago, and often takes narrow views in cases of individual rights.

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The nominee is expected to meet in coming days with senators at their offices, going door-to-door in get-to-know-you sessions ahead of confirmation hearings.

Mr. Trump was asked Sunday how many names he was considering and said, "Let's say it's the four people".

And Democrats can not even be sure of holding their line against Trump's pick.

By installing Gorsuch and another, similar candidate on the court, Trump can tell conservative voters that he kept his promises and give them a reason to solidify his electoral coalition.

The only public statement this weekend out of the White House about the impending selection, was a tweet Saturday by the president.

Conservative groups like Judicial Crisis Network and American Crossroads have each pledged over $1 million in ads encouraging support or opposition to Trump's eventual nominee. A more conservative majority could be more willing to uphold state restrictions on abortion, if not overturn the 45-year-old landmark Roe v. Wade decision that established a woman's constitutional right. But there are red state Senate Democrats who are up for re-election in November like Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Joe Manchin of WV and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.

Some conservatives have expressed concerns about Kavanaugh - a longtime judge and former clerk for Justice Kennedy - questioning his commitment to social issues like abortion and noting his time serving under President George W. Bush as evidence he is a more establishment choice. Kavanaugh worked in the administration of each President Bush and also for independent counsel Kenneth Starr in the investigation that eventually led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

Barrett of IN, 46, serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.

Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) questions Barrett on her Catholic faith and whether it would influence her decisions on the federal appeals court in her Senate confirmation hearing, September 6, 2017. She is the mother of seven children, including two from Haiti and one with special needs.

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