Trump names Supreme Court nominee

Today in Trump’s America Trump’s Supreme Court reality show ends with final pick Monday night

Kavanaugh, 53, is a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit and Yale Law School graduate who previously served in both Bush administrations.

By contrast, Senate Republicans were in the majority in 2016, when McConnell and his GOP colleagues blocked President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, for more than nine months, following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

On Monday night, Trump announced Kavanaugh's nomination to replace Kennedy, who was considered a swing vote on numerous Supreme Court's controversial decisions.

Relishing the guessing game beyond the White House gates, Trump had little to say about his choice before the announcement.

Ahead of the decision, Trump has built suspense about who his pick will be.

LEAHY: No. No. They've been OK'd by conservative groups, by lobbying groups who have said, here are the people you are allowed to pick from.

The choice was down to four people, he said, adding that "you can't go wrong" with any of them. Like Trump's first nominee a year ago, Justice Neil Gorsuch, Kavanaugh would be a young addition who could help remake the court for decades to come with rulings that could restrict abortion, expand gun rights and roll back key parts of Obamacare.

The battle for Senate confirmation of Trump's Supreme Court pick is likely to be one of the most intense. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who have shown concern in the past about preserving access to abortion rights.

The process is arduous, with the private meetings giving way to days of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats.

The White House invited a number of senators to attend the Monday night announcement.

Continuing from the podium Monday evening, Kavanaugh said that he was "deeply honored" to be nominated to serve as Kennedy's replacement - Kavanaugh served as a clerk for Kennedy in the past. A self-described introvert, Kethledge co-authored a book, "Lead Yourself First", in which he talks about how some of the world's great leaders learned from solitude and quiet.

And in a rape case, Kethledge dissented.

Barrett, who is 46, has less of a judicial record to review, having just been nominated to the appeals court by Trump previous year.

Barrett - a longtime Notre Dame Law School professor who became a federal judge last fall - excited social conservatives since she was questioned about her Roman Catholic faith in her nomination hearings past year, but her brief time on the bench has raised questions about her experience. But Barrett told senators she would not let her staunch Catholic beliefs affect her legal rulings. Susan Collins said she wouldn't support a nominee hostile to the court's precedent in Roe v. Wade - and the conservative Barrett has expressed a willingness to reverse precedent she sees as wrongly decided. And they certainly want Trump's choice confirmed before the November election, when Democrats have a long-shot chance of retaking the Senate majority.

The 52-year-old Hardiman was nominated to the federal trial court by George W. Bush in 2003 and to the 3rd Circuit in 2007 and was confirmed by the Senate in a 95-0 vote. He has the Ivy League credentials Trump desires, but has also been a controversial judge. Judge Amy Coney Barrett is the favored nominee among the religious right. The ad is expected to feature an introductory bio on the president's yet-to-be-named Supreme Court nominee. Barry served alongside Hardiman as a federal appeals judge on the 3rd Circuit before stepping down previous year. As an attorney, Kavanaugh worked for the special counsel investigating former President Bill Clinton, who was eventually impeached, and also worked for the Bush campaign during the 2000 presidential election recount.

On abortion, Kavanaugh voted in October to delay an abortion for a teenage immigrant who was in government custody. The opinion, written for a three-judge panel, was eventually overturned by the full court. He also has taken an expansive view of executive power and has favored limits on investigating the president.

Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of SC and Roy Blunt of Missouri said Sunday that they believe any of the top four contenders could get confirmed by the GOP-majority Senate. And that is a big if.

Once Trump names his nominee, all eyes will shift to a handful of moderate Democratic and Republican senators.

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