Local expert speaks about Trump's Supreme Court pick

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The last-minute jockeying by lawmakers and other political stakeholders played right into the reality show-like gamesmanship surrounding President Trump's choice for Supreme Court nominee - right down to a blast from the past re-emerging on Trump's list of finalists.

In his conversations over the weekend, Trump expressed renewed interest in Hardiman _ the runner-up when Trump nominated Gorsuch, said two people with knowledge of his thinking who were not authorized to speak publicly.

"We're very close to making a decision..."

"This is a nightmare for red-state Democrats to oppose a highly qualified nominee, and all four of these people are highly qualified, been on the court, know what they're doing, mainstream judges", Graham said. Every one, you can't go wrong.

Barrett, confirmed to the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on October 31, has faced opposition by abortion rights groups because she has called Roe v. Wade an erroneous decision.

"I think we can confirm any of the four names being mentioned", Blunt said on NBC's 'Meet the Press.' "They're good judges". While that argument won't sway Republicans, their strategy could stiffen Democratic resolve to oppose the nominee.

Outside adviser Leonard Leo, now on leave from the Federalist Society, said on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that this kind of jockeying is standard, noting that "every potential nominee before announcement gets concerns expressed about them by people who might ultimately support them".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised a vote on the nomination before the November midterms, ensuring the outcome will be an issue before voters.

McConnell reportedly told Trump that Kavanaugh, a former assistant and staff secretary to former President George W. Bush, has an extensive paper trail that could help Democrats prolong the nomination process.

But Trump Supreme Court advisor Leonard Leo says the Roe v. Wade conversation is nothing more than a scare tactic. That decision was reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court this year in a landmark ruling.

"My goal, first and foremost, has always been to find people to serve on the court who believe in the Constitution as it's written, and that's really what drives the conservative legal movement", Leo said.

Hardiman has a personal connection to the president, having served with Trump's sister on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.

Trump is also believed to be studying Brett Kavanaugh, 53, of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit and a Yale Law School graduate.

Two Republican senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of ME, are pro-abortion and have said they would vote against a candidate who would overturn Roe v. Wade. Barry served alongside Hardiman as a federal appeals judge on the 3rd Circuit before stepping down past year.

Barrett, who is 46, has less of a judicial record to review, having just been nominated to the appeals court by Trump a year ago. Hardiman was on the president's short list when he nominated Neil Gorsuch to replace Justice Antonin Scalia. I'll be deciding tonight or tomorrow sometime by 12 o'clock, and we're all gonna be meeting at 9 o'clock.

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