Trump announces Supreme Court pick

Wednesday, 11 Jul, 2018

President Donald Trump said Sunday he was still deliberating his decision on a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy as his self-imposed deadline for an announcement neared amid furious lobbying and frenzied speculation.

US President Donald Trump is still deliberating on Supreme Court pick.

Mr Kavanaugh has served on the DC Circuit Court since 2006, and has a strong conservative record on issues of protecting gun ownership, opposing a ban on semi-automatic rifles and showing scepticism over environmental regulations put in place by the Obama administration. His first, Justice Neil Gorsuch was confirmed to the high court in April 2017. SCOTUSblog, which covers actions of the Supreme Court, said his opinions have shown an "originalist approach to the Second Amendment right to bear arms", and that he "has not weighed in directly on issues relating to abortion" - two hot-button issues. He previously served as a clerk for Kennedy and worked for Ken Starr during Starr's investigation of President Bill Clinton.

Trump last week spoke with seven candidates, all drawn from a shortlist compiled by the conservative Federalist Society, about the Supreme Court.

Then McConnell and other Republicans reminded Trump of another political goal: the confirmation path of least resistance. She said the Senate "should confirm his nomination without delay".

Republicans hold 51 seats in the Senate, though Arizona Sen. 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.

The choice could be made all the more hard for Casey if Trump nominates Thomas Hardiman, now serving as a judge on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals which covers part of Pennsylvania, and who was first appointed to serve in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh in 2003.

Barrett - a longtime Notre Dame Law School professor who became a federal appeals judge last fall - excited social conservatives with her testimony when questioned about her Roman Catholic faith in her nomination hearings previous year.

Trump has often clashed with Republican leadership, even publicly, and his decision to nominate Kavanaugh could stir up problems between him and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett and Thomas Hardiman are widely reported to be on the short list.

The White House invited a number of senators to attend the Monday night announcement. Ezra Klein of Vox also writes about the need for reform, reasoning that the "Supreme Court has always been undemocratic". He also has taken an expansive view of executive power and has favored limits on investigating the president.

Kennedy had voted to preserve the core principles of the high court's 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade.

Barrett, the only woman under consideration, has the support of Sean Hannity, the Fox News host and close Trump ally, who played golf with the president in New Jersey on Sunday. He is also former law clerk to Kennedy, as is Kethledge. "I hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will thoughtfully and thoroughly review this individual during the confirmation process and carefully consider him rather than making a knee-jerk decision based on politics and nothing else".

The Judicial Crisis Network is planning a $1.4 million ad buy in Alabama, Indiana, North Dakota and West Virginia - states with moderate Democratic senators who could be pressured to vote for Trump's nominee.