President Donald Trump is to announce his US Supreme Court pick on Monday, an intensely anticipated decision that opposition Democrats say will likely push the bench rightward with explosive implications for the country.
President Donald Trump and Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy participate in a public swearing-in ceremony for Justice Neil Gorsuch in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, April 10, 2017.
The pick is Trump's second to the nation's highest court, after he selected Justice Neil Gorsuch a year ago to replace Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016. He's a flawless 21 for 21 in confirming the federal appeals-court nominees of President Trump, with more to come this year.
A favourite of the Republican legal establishment in Washington, Kavanaugh, 53, is a former law clerk for retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.
His views on abortion are generally unknown, but Kavanaugh was part of a panel that signed an order past year to prevent an illegal teenage immigrant from getting an abortion.
The president has reportedly narrowed his choices down to three main candidates: current appellate judges Brett Kavanaugh of the DC Circuit; Amy Coney Barrett of the Seventh Circuit; and Raymond Kethledge of the Sixth Circuit.
He also was a key aide to Kenneth Starr during his investigation of President Bill Clinton and worked in the White House during George W. Bush's presidency.
The appointment is seen as crucial because Kennedy was often a swing vote who would sometimes side with the court's four conservative justices and at other times with its liberals.
Kyl now works as a visiting fellow for the American enterprise institute and as senior of counsel for Covington & Burling, a high powered Washington D.C. law firm.
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.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said opponents were using "40-year-old scare tactics" over abortion and other issues but they "will not stop us from doing the right thing".
A group of Democratic senators from Republican-leaning states - lawmakers who could be pivotal in the confirmation fight - declined Trump's invitation to attend the White House announcement. He was confirmed in 2006 after Democrats mounted a long fight against his nomination on the grounds that Kavanaugh was overly partisan.
Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana said he was bracing for a tough confirmation battle as Democrats focus on abortion. Susan Collins, who declined the invitation. The two have supported access to abortion services. Some, like Democratic SEn.
The president has a plethora of excellent candidates and Republicans could support any one of them, the Utah Republican said on Fox News. He called it the "fruit of a corrupt process straight from the D.C. swamp".
Presidents weigh all sorts of considerations in deciding on a Supreme Court nominee, often beginning with the big question: Will the choice be confirmed by the Senate?