Red State Democrats In Hot Seat Over Trump's Supreme Court Pick

President Donald Trump greets Judge Brett Kavanaugh his Supreme Court nominee in the East Room of the White House Monday

"I am pleased to say I have found without doubt such a person", Trump said as he announced Kavanaugh's nomination at the White House Monday evening.

By contrast, Senate Republicans were in the majority in 2016, when McConnell and his GOP colleagues blocked President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, for more than nine months, following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Kavanaugh, 53, had always been mentioned in Washington chatter as a potential high court choice by a Republican president because of his educational background, intellectual firepower and an unyielding commitment to a legal approach championed by conservative Supreme Court justices such as Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr.

Trump spoke to reporters Sunday afternoon before returning to Washington from a weekend at his private golf club in New Jersey, where he deliberated his decision amid furious lobbying and frenzied speculation. He was in the running past year for the Supreme Court seat left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. CBS News reported that Judge Thomas Hardiman, who was the runner-up to Neil Gorsuch, was also a finalist. Besides McGahn, he has the support of some Republicans who admire his record as a lawyer working with independent counsel Ken Starr in the investigation of President Bill Clinton and later in the George W. Bush White House as well as his conservative record as a judge.

The Senate must confirm Trump's nominee, who will be backed campaign-style by the White House and conservative legal organizations. He has the Ivy League credentials Trump desires, but has also been a controversial judge.

Senator Dianne Feinstein said Trump's choice "could have a bigger effect on Americans' daily lives than any justice in our lifetime".

The president has spent the days leading up to the decision mulling the pros and cons of the various options with aides and allies. Senate Republicans hold only a 51-49 majority, leaving them hardly any margin if Democrats hold the line.

Since 2006, Kavanaugh has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, often called the nation's second most powerful court.

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Barrett - a longtime Notre Dame Law School professor who became a federal appeals judge last fall - excited social conservatives with her testimony when she was questioned about her Roman Catholic faith in her nomination hearings past year. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the majority leader, has tried to warn the president through gentle nudging that Hardiman and Kethledge would be the safest choices for confirmation.

Trump has reportedly narrowed the pool of candidates to four federal appeals court judges.

The White House has assembled a team to handle communications, strategy and messaging coordination to defend and push the nomination through on Capitol Hill.

Republican Sen. Cory Gardner released the following statement regarding President Trump's announcement that he will be nominating Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh once served as a Supreme Court clerk under Kennedy. An official said Thursday that Trump had completed his scheduled interviews for potential nominees.

Liberals also fear that a new conservative justice will help overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which protects a woman's right to an abortion.

"As I have said, part of my job as Senator includes thoroughly considering judicial nominations, including to the Supreme Court".

Schumer and other Democratic senators have blasted Trump for having chosen Kavanaugh from a list pre-approved by rightwing outside groups, including the conservative Federalist Society.

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