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Trump set to announce hotly anticipated U.S. Supreme Court pick
10 July 2018, 06:04 | Erica Roy
Trump weighs top picks for Supreme Court amid last-minute maneuvering
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 has said the indictment of a president would not serve the public interest.
Republicans in the Senate need to be completely united on the pick, because of the delicate nature of their majority. Sen. He's an appeals court judge - federal appeals court judge in D.C. And heading into the weekend, he was seen as a favorite. Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia judge Thomas Hardiman, the runner-up in last year's search, rounds out the final four.
MCCAMMON: Yeah, 9 Eastern time tonight is when the White House says the news will be coming out. In practice, that means that 51 votes, rather than 60, are needed to confirm nominees.
After Republicans won control of the Senate in 2014, McConnell became leader and the confirmation of Obama's nominees started grinding to halt.
With Kavanaugh, Trump is replacing a swing vote on the nine-member court with a staunch conservative. Kavanaugh avoided any direct reference to specific issues in front of the court in his remarks in the East Room, but said that he will be visiting Capitol Hill Tuesday to assure senators that he will commit to "keep an open mind in every case". "I don't think my role is to rubber stamp for the President, but it's also not an automatic knee-jerk no, either".
He has served since 2006 on the influential US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and was formerly a White House aide under George W Bush.
Such comments are likely to raise a red flag to moderate Republican senators like Susan Collins, R-Maine, who have said they would not vote for a nominee who has expressed doubts about observing precedents when it comes to abortion and other long-standing Supreme Courtdecisions.
Kavanaugh, 53, is a longtime fixture of the Republican legal establishment. Some conservative activists have questioned whether he would rule sufficiently aggressively as a justice.
But she is also seen as potentially hard to confirm, given the narrowness of the Senate GOP majority, the previous controversy in her confirmation process when she was nominated for the federal bench a year ago, her lack of a deep judicial record of opinions and her openness to overturning Roe v. Wade.
By Monday Barrett, at 46 the youngest and the only woman of the four, was being widely discounted due to her relative inexperience and her strong views as a social and religious conservative.
Speaking at the White House, Kavanaugh pledged to preserve the Constitution and said that "a judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law". Dianne Feinstein told Barrett, a Catholic, that "the dogma lives loudly within you", suggesting her faith would influence her judicial decisions - a statement that was roundly criticized.
Kennedy's replacement also could be more willing to allow states to carry out executions and could support undoing earlier court holdings in the areas of racial discrimination in housing and the workplace.
But the Republican blockade helped solidify conservative and evangelical support for Trump during the election, as many rallied to the cause of having a Republican president fill the seat.
Trump announcing his high court big 'reveal' in prime time
Without Republican defections, however, Senate rules leave Democrats with scant options to block confirmation of Trump's nominee. Democrats are certain to press Trump's latest nominee on views toward the most divisive of topics: the landmark 1973 Roe v.