Supreme jockeying ahead of Donald Trump’s prime-time reveal of court pick

Judge Thomas Hardiman smiles during a meeting with The Associated Press in Philadelphia

Judge Thomas Hardiman smiles during a meeting with The Associated Press in Philadelphia

On Monday night, President Donald Trump announced that he's chosen United States Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to the Supreme Court, NBC first reported.

Kavanaugh graduated from Yale Law School and clerked for Kennedy in the mid-1990s.

"The Supreme Court has already gone far enough in becoming a rubber stamp for President Trump's political agenda, and Judge Kavanaugh's nomination threatens a generational transformation of our government that will entrench laws favoring the wealthy and powerful", she said in a statement. Dick Durbin once called the "Forrest Gump of Republican politics", later served as partner at the law firm Kirkland & Ellis in Washington, DC, and served as senior associate counsel, associate counsel, assistant to the president, and staff secretary to former President George W. Bush. "A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law", he told the assembled dignitaries, as Trump beamed.

The president has been lobbied in the final hours of his selection process by both supporters and opponents of the four candidates, all of whom are federal appeals court judges with conservative records. Kennedy, a 1988 appointee of President Ronald Reagan, was the most unpredictable.

As promised, Trump made his pick from a list of more than two dozen potential nominees drawn up with the help from conservative legal activists at The Federalist Society and The Heritage Foundation. The nomination also comes just before the President leaves for a critical trip to Britain, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Belgium and a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"The Democrats are so upset that the Republicans have this opportunity of appointing nominees to the court that they just make every doggone appointment a cause celeb, and that's just ridiculous", he said. He has stood against abortion, for Second Amendment rights, and against several regulations from former President Barack Obama's administration.

"In the old days, the president would consult with Republicans and Democrats in the Senate on a qualified judge and after careful deliberation, nominate a jurist that could get support", Schumer added. John McCain of Arizona, is ill and may not be able to participate in the confirmation process. Three Democrats up for re-election in states Trump won by double digits in 2016 - Indiana Sen.

The Senate must confirm Trump's nominee, who will be backed campaign-style by the White House and conservative legal organizations.

On Monday night, Trump announced Kavanaugh's nomination to replace Kennedy, who was considered a swing vote on numerous Supreme Court's controversial decisions.

"When this power is placed in the wrong hands, our justice system can also take our country backwards, whether it's upholding the Muslim ban, attacking the basic civil rights around the right to vote or weakening our protections for immigrants", she said.

This story is breaking and will be updated. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also received a heads-up from the president.

This is Mr Trump's second appointment to the highest court in the land, potentially allowing him to shape the United States for a generation after he leaves office.

Democrats say McConnell is being hypocritical in moving forward with the nomination.

"I think it's a bit of a scare tactic and rank speculation", Leo said on "This Week" Sunday, saying "nobody really knows" how Trump's nominee would rule on abortion if it ever arose.

"I appreciate the President inviting me to attend tonight's announcement at the WH", Manchin said in the tweet.

Fix the Court has released financial information on the contenders here. Their support for Gorsuch and possibly Kavanaugh could attract moderate GOP voters in what are expected to be tight fall races - but also cost the centrist trio some backing from liberals and progressives opposed to Trump and his judicial nominees.

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