Issuing the invitations makes the lawmakers choose between humoring voters who think they should be bipartisan and others who feel they shouldn't condone Trump's pick. Before that, Kavanaugh served for more than five years in the Bush White House from July 2003 until May 2006.
He also worked in the solicitor general's office in the George H.W. Bush administration before clerking for recently retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
He says, "Because President Trump has said repeatedly that he would nominate judges to overturn the ACA, the Supreme Court vacancy is only further putting health care front and center, raising the stakes for maintaining these vital health care protections".
Over the weekend, Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, reportedly told Trump that Kethledge and Hardiman likely face the fewest obstacles in the confirmation process.
But White House officials cautioned Sunday that Trump's informal conversations with golf partners and friends did not necessarily hint at whom he would ultimately select for the court, a decision that could tilt the bench to the right for decades.
"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. At her recent confirmation hearing, however, she said it was never permissible for judges to "follow their personal convictions in deciding a case".
Hardiman was the runner-up to succeed Antonin Scalia, the seat Neil Gorsuch eventually occupied after being confirmed in 2017.
Hardiman, originally recommended to Trump by his sister, Third Circuit Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, was again a finalist, having a backstory that appeals to POTUS: first member of his family to graduate college.
The confirmation process promises to be a fight, and Republicans have a narrow 51-49 majority - with nearly no room to lose votes as Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona remains absent while fighting brain cancer.
Republican Senator Susan Collins of ME has said she couldn't support a nominee that doesn't respect legal precedent and would overturn the "settled law" of Roe V. Wade.
"I was lucky. My mum was a teacher in the 1960s and 1970s, she taught history at two largely African American public high schools in Washington DC, McKinlay Tech and HD Woodson", Judge Kavanaugh said. "I think people thought about it when they went to the ballot box". "And I expect we will do that on sort of a normal timetable, a couple of months".
Current justices range in age from Elena Kagan, 58, to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85.
The senators have stayed mum on whether they're planning to support Trump's nominee, saying they'll wait until after he announces to weigh in.
Ahead of the decision, Trump has built suspense about whom his pick will be.
On Sunday, he told reporters he was "very close to making a decision" but had "not made it final".
The looming midterm elections in November also could be a factor.
The Judicial Crisis Network will spend $1.4 million on national cable, digital ads supporting the nominee in Alabama, Indiana, North Dakota, and West Virginia, featuring an introductory biography about the jurist.