Hardiman, a runner-up when Trump chose Neil Gorsuch as his high court nominee previous year, received a wave of new attention in the weekend discussions, according to two people briefed on the matter but not authorized to speak publicly about it.
The Kentucky Republican faces a challenge in winning Kavanaugh's confirmation.
Neera Tanden, president of the progressive Center for American Progress, says President TrumpDonald John TrumpMichelle Wolf in July Fourth salute: "God bless abortions and God bless America" Graham: Trump's Supreme Court picks "all winners" Man arrested after allegedly threatening to kill Trump supporters, GOP lawmaker MORE is trying to orchestrate a "right-wing takeover" of the judiciary.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh built a solidly conservative record during his 12 years on the appeals court in Washington that decides consequential cases on health care, the environment and other major governmental policies.
Anti-abortion groups quietly lobbied against Kavanaugh, pushing instead for another jurist on Trump's shortlist, 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett, ABC News reported in the run-up to Trump's announcement. "I'll interpret the law as written".
Hardiman, originally recommended to Trump by his sister, Third Circuit Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, was again a finalist, having a backstory that appeals to POTUS: first member of his family to graduate college. Three Democratic senators who voted for Gorsuch - Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of IN and Joe Manchin of West Virginia - are up for re-election IN states Trump won handily IN 2016. In a 2009 article in The Minnesota Law Review, Kavanaugh wrote that presidents are under such extraordinary pressure they "should be excused from some of the burdens of ordinary citizenship while serving in office".
Donald Trump nears decision on replacement for Supreme Court
Mr Trump had on Friday discussed the nomination with Vice President Mike Pence in Bedminster, New Jersey. The US President interviewed seven candidates from his master list of 25 judges, the White House said.
Kavanaugh also worked with special counsel Ken Starr during the Whitewater investigation of President Bill Clinton. That means President Trump should select anyone but Kethledge or Hardiman.
With Republicans hoping to confirm a justice before the court resumes its session in October, as well as prior to the upcoming midterm congressional election in November, "Trump did not move too fast in naming a nominee", says Trevor Burrus, a research fellow at the Cato Institute's Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies.
Barrett also clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
It'll happen tonight at 9 p.m.
Republicans occupy 51 Senate seats. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., would guide the nominee through the confirmation process, including preparing for meetings with senators.
A group of Democratic senators from Republican-leaning states - lawmakers who could be pivotal in the confirmation fight - declined Trump's invitation to attend the White House announcement. The vacancy, left behind by Anthony Kennedy, is the second Trump has had to fill since taking office.
"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. Gorsuch restored the court's conservative majority.
Rescuer dies working to free trapped boys in Thai cave
The boys and their coach had been stranded in Tham Luang Nang Non when they went exploring in the cave after a scrimmage June 23. Monsoon flooding cut off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days, CBS News reported.
Kavanaugh should be questioned closely by senators about his views of the Constitution, the role of precedent and, yes, what he thinks of Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 decision legalizing abortion.
Trump has previously said he wanted "pro-life" justices opposed to abortion rights.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that by picking Kavanaugh, Trump is delivering on his pledge to "punish" women for their choices. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to push this through quickly.
The new justice can be expected to cast crucial votes on other matters of national importance including gay rights, gun control, the death penalty and voting rights.
The high court handed Trump and his administration a series of victories in its term that ended on the day of Kennedy's retirement, including a major decision upholding the president's travel ban targeting people from several Muslim-majority countries. Trump pledged in 2016 that he would be "putting pro-life justices on the court".
Current justices range in age from Elena Kagan, 58, to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85. Fellow liberal Stephen Breyer turns 80 next month.
Kylie Jenner 'Got Rid' Of Her Lip Fillers
I did want to admit to the lips, but people are quick to judge me on everything, so I might've tiptoed around the truth. The 20-year-old star became insecure about her lips after a comment from her teenage crush.