Two Contenders Remain as Trump Mulls Supreme Court Pick

Trump focused on Kavanaugh, Kethledge for Supreme Court: source

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The president and White House officials involved in the process have fielded calls and messages and have been on the receiving end of public pleas and op-eds for or against specific candidates ever since Kennedy announced on June 27 that he would retire this summer.

Trump is set to announce his Supreme Court nomination on Monday night at 9:00pm ET on Fox News Channel. A day later, Trump interviewed three other individuals. All three are current federal judges, Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Raymond Kethledge.

She clerked for late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and was appointed past year to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

"I am interviewing some extraordinarily talented and brilliant people and I'm very, very happy with them and we will pick somebody who will be outstanding, hopefully for many years to come", Trump said Thursday. He served with the president's sister on the Third Circuit, and she apparently recommended Hardiman for the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh has a reputation as a staunch originalist and conservative who more often than not rules in the favor of federal separation of powers and resists the expansion of administrative federal offices. "And I think of the four people I have it down to three or two".

"They're all likely to be on the same side on issues involving abortion, on issues involving voting rights, on issues involving affirmative action".

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Conservatives want Trump to pick a more solid conservative for Kennedy's seat, a justice in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia, whose sudden death in early 2016 rocked the Supreme Court. Trump finally nominated judge Neil Gorsuch. Politico reported on Monday that the liberal action group Demand Justice was investing $5 million into a shock-and-awe messaging campaign that would emphasize the threat posed to abortion rights by Trump's potential nominee. "In both cases, however, I believe he made important errors".

Kavanaugh played a key role in drafting the Starr report, which urged the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

Many of these questions surrounded Barrett's Catholic faith-she is a member of a Catholic revivalist group called "People of Praise," in which members swear an oath of loyalty and give each other input on personal life decisions-and some anxious this would influence her political opinions. "Go about my business", as he told the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing previous year. Roberts expressed concern about the "onslaught on women's access to abortion" that could occur were a conservative justice to take Kennedy's place. But Collins said she also wouldn't blindly vote to confirm someone she thinks is unworthy in other respects - even if he or she supports Roe v. Wade.

"If Democrats tried to go anti-Catholic with her, that'd backfire and we know it", said Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.).

Democrats, meanwhile, prepared for the political war over the high court that could dominate the summer, with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) making his own suggestion for Trump.

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