Trump nears decision on replacement for Supreme Court

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Trump plans to announce his pick to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy during prime time Monday night.

Trump had said he hoped to make his decision by the time he returned Sunday from a weekend in New Jersey, but he told reporters en route to the White House that he needed more time.

Three Democratic senators sure to face tremendous pressure over whether to back President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee have been invited to Monday's White House announcement of the pick. Trump has been struggling with Kavanaugh's association with the Bush family, however, an issue the Post calls the "Bush factor".

Ahead of the decision, Trump has built suspense about whom his pick will be. Senate rules now requires only a majority of 51 votes to advance a Supreme Court nomination.

Leo said Hardiman of Pennsylvania and Kethledge of MI are "a little bit less known by conservatives".

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The pick is Trump's second to the nation's highest court, after he selected Justice Neil Gorsuch previous year to replace Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016.

"Remember, the President ran on the Supreme Court issue and that greatly enthused voters", Leonard Leo, who is now on leave from the Federalist Society, where he helped craft Trump's list of candidates, said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday. "There are always issues [that the] executive branch and president deal with on a regular basis that are extraordinarily important and controversial, and we don't hold up Supreme Court nominations or confirmations for those".

"I am concerned that he's making it like a game show", Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy told NPR radio. In recent days, he expressed renewed interest in Hardiman, the runner-up when Trump nominated Gorsuch, said two people with knowledge of his thinking.

By Monday Barrett, at 46 the youngest and the only woman of the four, was being widely discounted due to her relative inexperience and her strong views as a social and religious conservative. "I was a law clerk to [former Justice Harry Blackmun]".

Hardiman, 53, a judge on the federal court in Philadelphia, is less known in terms of his legal philosophy, but has roots in the working class that could make him attractive to the public. That doesn't mean I'm going to vote 'yes.' It doesn't mean I'm going to vote 'no.' I think it's premature to say automatically - I'm not going to say automatically that I'm going to vote against any nominee that Donald Trump put out there. And she recently made it through the confirmation process, with the Senate approving her nomination to be an appeals court judge in October.

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.

In his dozen years on the court, Kavanaugh has been involved in some 286 opinions.

Raymond Kethledge of MI, who also has many high-profile supporters who see him as a positive alternative to the other three.

"I don't think anyone should expect me to simply vote yes for this nominee, just simply because my state may be more conservative than others", Jones said. Perhaps it will fire up Democrats to embark on the decades-long quest to remake the ideological balance of the court that the GOP has used to enthuse its grassroots voters and that Trump harnessed in 2016.

"This is a nightmare for red state Democrats to oppose a highly qualified nominee - and all these candidates are highly qualified", Lindsey Graham, the senator from SC, told Fox News Sunday. She rocketed to the top of Trump's earlier list of 25 Supreme Court candidates after her performance during her confirmation hearing last fall, when Democrats cited her deep Catholic faith as a potential problem.

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