Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Trump to announce Supreme Court nominee

Trump to announce Supreme Court nominee

After days of frenzied lobbying and speculation, President Donald Trump decided on his second nominee to the Supreme Court on Monday, setting up a ferocious confirmation battle with Democrats as he seeks to shift the nation's highest court further to the right.

Trump prefaced the reveal with a brief address, saying that like President Reagan before him, he was looking for "judges who apply the Constitution as written".

The source told Reuters that Amy Coney Barrett of IN, a Trump-appointed judge on the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, was still IN contention but that the Republican president had been asking more questions about the other two, who have more extensive judicial records.

McConnell has said he hopes to have a justice in place by the opening of the court's new term in October, and it's possible that a voluminous paper trail could add more time to the review - or at least give Democrats a little more traction on efforts to delay the proceedings. Kavanaugh, who serves on the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, is expected to be less receptive to abortion and gay rights than Kennedy was. Merrick Garland, Democratic former President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee who was blocked by Senate Republicans in 2016 in a move that allowed Trump to nominate Gorsuch a year ago, serves on that court alongside Kavanaugh. The White House has been preparing information materials on all four, who were part of a longer list of 25 names vetted by conservative groups.

This is Mr Trump's second appointment to the highest court in the land, potentially allowing him to shape the U.S. for a generation after he leaves office. A more conservative majority could be more willing to uphold state restrictions on abortion, if not overturn the 45-year-old landmark Roe v. Wade decision that established a woman's constitutional right.

The president has also spoken with confidence about how his Supreme Court pick will work out.

Kavanaugh worked in the George W Bush White House before being nominated to the DC court of appeals in 2003.

The White House said Monday that John Kyl, a former Arizona senator, would guide Trump's nominee through the gruelling Senate process.

A Yale Law graduate, Kavanaugh started his career as associate counsel with Kenneth Starr, the special prosecutor who investigated former President Bill Clinton's extramarital affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, helping draft the report recommending Clinton's impeachment.

Hatch said he believes Barrett, a Catholic and former Notre Dame law professor, could handle herself before the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which the senator is a member and former chairman.

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.

Gorsuch took office in April 2017, succeeding the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016.

Judge Kavanaugh said he would begin meetings with senators on Tuesday.

Democrats have turned their attention to pressuring two Republicans, Sens. Three Democratic senators who voted for Gorsuch - Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of IN and Joe Manchin of West Virginia - are up for re-election IN states Trump won handily IN 2016.

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