Friday, 20 July, 2018

Trump narrows Supreme Court nominee to 4 names ahead of today's announcement

Thai cave rescue Getty Thai cave rescuers Dive crews rush to reach football team
Steve Townsend | 10 July, 2018, 02:24

Sources have told NPR that those four finalists are all US appeals court judges; Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Raymond Kethledge and Thomas Hardiman.

When President Donald Trump unveils his second Supreme Court pick Monday night with the prime-time flourish of a reality show star, he will lay a momentous marker in modern political history.

Trump tweeted early Monday, after a weekend spent weighing his decision at his New Jersey golf club. Trump, who has touted Supreme Court nominations as among the most important task of his presidency, is poised to make his announcement at 9 p.m. (0100 GMT Tuesday).

"He could throw a dart on that list" and conservatives would be happy.

Some conservatives have expressed concerns about Kavanaugh - a longtime judge and former clerk for Kennedy - questioning his commitment to social issues like abortion and noting his time serving under President George W. Bush as evidence he is a more establishment choice.

Any of the candidates on Trump's short list would probably move the court to the right. Have not made it final.

Hardiman has a personal connection to the president, having served with Trump's sister on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.

If the nomination is delayed and Democrats capture an extra seat in the Senate in November elections, Trump could be forced to compromise with liberals in order to fill Kennedy's seat. In the Senate, Republicans hold a slim 51-49 advantage.

Kay Bailey Hutchison says North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members 'making progress' on increasing defense spending
But Trump's claim that the US pays 90 per cent of NATO's total defense spending isn't corroborated by available data. But Hutchinson, and the US ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman, gave upbeat assessments of the upcoming meetings.


"If all the Republicans stick together", Chris Coons, a Democratic senator on the Senate Judiciary Committee told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday, "they will be able to confirm whomever President Trump nominates".

Democrats see the seat being vacated by Justice Kennedy, a conservative judge who sometimes sided with the court's liberal wing, as critical to maintaining abortion rights and key provisions of former President Barack Obama's healthcare plan.

Conservative groups like Judicial Crisis Network and American Crossroads have each pledged over $1 million in ads encouraging support or opposition to Trump's eventual nominee.

President Donald Trump has yet to announce his pick for Supreme Court, but Democratic Sen. If Mr. McCain is not able to vote, only one Republican would have to defect to derail the confirmation, assuming the Democrats maintain ideal party discpline.

Democrats are certain to press Trump's latest nominee on views toward the most divisive of topics: the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide, a decision some conservatives - particularly conservative Christians - have long wanted to overturn. Both are conservative jurists in the mold of Trump's previous Supreme Court pick, Gorsuch. Susan Collins of ME, who has expressed disquiet about the nomination of a judge who might overturn Roe v. Wade. But Indiana's Joe Donnelly, North Dakota's Heidi Heitkamp and West Virginia's Joe Manchin all say they won't attend.

"I'm open to voting yes". We don't know who this nominee is going to be yet. I do think the president has to think about who is the easiest to get confirmed here.

While the president has been pondering his choice, his aides have been preparing for what is expected to be a tough confirmation fight.

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