The Trump Presidency: Trump is due to announce pick for Supreme Court

The Trump Presidency: Trump is due to announce pick for Supreme Court”

The South Carolina Republican's comments come as the president said he would announce his pick to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on Monday.

The president is said to have narrowed his choice to four federal appeals court judges: Thomas Hardiman, 53, of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals; Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett, 46; Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Raymond Kethledge, 51; and District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh, 53.

While activists and progressive groups are targeting moderate Republican senators who support abortion rights like Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, urging them to reject any Trump nominee who is hostile to Roe v. Wade, a handful of Democrats will be key in deciding whether the president gets his pick confirmed to the high court, because of the razor-thin partisan divide in the Senate.

Trump indeed said during the 2016 campaign that he would put "pro-life justices on the court", thrilling his grassroots base although polls show most Americans support abortion rights.

Kennedy said he was bracing for a tough confirmation battle as Democrats focus on the nominee's views of the high court's Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion.

Trump past year appointed Neil Gorsuch, who has already become one of the most conservative justices, after Senate Republicans in 2016 refused to consider Democratic former President Barack Obama's nominee Merrick Garland to fill a vacancy left by the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

Democrats have sounded the alarm that Trump could shift the ideological balance of the court and thereby place women's reproductive rights, health care and gay rights at risk.

Still, Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, a member of the Republican leadership, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that the Senate "can confirm any of the four names being mentioned". "And I think of the four people I have it down to three or two", The Guardian reported. He added: "I think they'd be fine justices of the Supreme Court". "And I expect we'll do that on sort of a normal timetable of a couple of months".

Kethledge, a former Kennedy law clerk, has sat on the 6th Circuit since 2008 after being nominated by George W. Bush. Without Republican defections, however, Senate rules leave Democrats with scant options to block confirmation of Trump's nominee.

Support for nomination: Some social conservatives fear Kavanaugh isn't committed to issues that matter to them, like abortion. He had previously worked with independent counsel Kenneth Starr in the investigation of President Bill Clinton, and was involved in the Florida presidential vote recount in 2000. "And what makes a judge the most fair and courageous and impartial is the idea that he interprets the law as written". Kavanaugh would have delayed the teen's abortion, in line with the Trump administration's position, but another judge would have gone farther and declared that, as someone who is in the USA illegally, the teen had no right at all to an abortion.

But his supporters cite his experience and wide range of legal opinions. Barrett was appointed by Trump to the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals past year. He is seen as supporting originalism, an interpretation of the Constitution along the lines of its meaning at the time of enactment. With a tiny Republican majority, the Trump nominee will be able to win confirmation if, in brutal hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he or she wins over two on-the-fence Republican senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine.

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