Trump 'very close' to decision on Supreme Court pick

President Donald Trump said Sunday afternoon he still had not made his final decision on a Supreme Court nominee, but anticipated finishing by Monday.

The pick is Trump's second to the nation's highest court, after he selected Justice Neil Gorsuch previous year to replace Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016.

The Republican leader in the Senate is trying to steer Donald Trump away from picking a Supreme Court justice open to overturning abortion rights, fearing that the most controversial choice could provoke a bitter confirmation battle.

Al Jazeera's Kimberly Halkett reports from Washington, DC. And I believe this person will do a great job, " Trump said.

Among the 10 Democratic senators facing voters in Trump states, three will confront especially hard decisions: Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota (which Mr. Trump carried with 63 per cent of the vote), Joe Manchin III of West Virginia (69 per cent) and Joe Donnelly of in, home state of Vice-President Mike Pence (57 per cent). Raymond Kethledge is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit who has been dubbed "Gorsuch 2.0". "And I think of the four people I have it down to three or two". I think conservative justices are also conservative in the small "c" sense.

When he was running for USA president, Donald Trump released a list of 11 candidates he would consider for a position on the Supreme Court.

The new justice can be expected to cast crucial votes on other matters of national importance including gay rights, gun control, the death penalty and voting rights.

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Hardiman, 53, has served on the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals since 2007, having been appointed by Republican former President George W. Bush, after four years as a U.S. district judge in western Pennsylvania. Ten Democrats from states that Trump won are up for re-election this fall and will be under tremendous pressure to back the president's nominee.

The president and White House officials involved in the process have fielded calls and messages and have been on the receiving end of public pleas and op-eds for or against specific candidates since Kennedy announced on June 27 that he would retire this summer.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, said some Democrats could defect from the party.

Savoring the suspense, Trump has sought to keep people guessing in the final hours, hoping to replicate his successful announcement of Justice Neil Gorsuch previous year.

Later in the week, the president also suggested that of the four reported shortlisted candidates, he had preferences, telling reporters: "I think I have it down to four people". Edward Fallone, an associate law professor at the Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, said: "The wild card here is if something comes up about a potential nominee and their past life and career that escaped attention when they were confirmed for their last court position". Susan Collins, of ME, to speak out, told Stephanopoulos last week that a candidate who would overturn Roe v. Wade "would not be acceptable", because it indicates an "activist agenda" she didn't want to see in a judge. "And I expect we will do that on sort of a normal timetable, a couple of months". They cite a recent case involving a pregnant teenaged immigrant in federal custody.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised a vote on the nomination before the November midterms, ensuring the outcome will be an issue before voters.

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