Trump set to announce hotly anticipated U.S. Supreme Court pick

11 July, 2018, 02:21 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Judge Thomas Hardiman smiles during a meeting with The Associated Press in Philadelphia

President Trump's choice of Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is a replay of Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Court a year ago, right down to the Apprentice type reveal. He has a degree from Yale Law School and was a clerk for Kennedy. "The White House expects to immediately hit the ground running once Trump makes his 9 p.m. announcement on Monday, a time he selected for maximum TV exposure as anticipation grows around the pick", Christopher Cadelago reports for Politico.

Hardiman, 53, a judge on the federal court in Philadelphia, is less known in terms of his legal philosophy, but has working-class roots that could make him attractive to the American public. His upcoming "Supreme" show is the latest example of Trump's push to remake the federal bench with young conservative judges, a crusade he believes will energize GOP voters concerned about the state of the judiciary.

The president said: "Judge Kavanaugh has impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law". He also recognized Justice Antonin Scalia's wife Maureen, and Edwin Meese, President Reagan's attorney general, who was also in attendance. She rocketed to the top of Trump's earlier list of 25 Supreme Court candidates after her performance during her confirmation hearing last fall, when Democrats cited her deep Catholic faith as a potential problem. Trump is expected to pressure recalcitrant Senate Democrats into supporting his nominee by holding rallies in their states.

Kennedy was long a swing vote on the 9-member court, and Trump's choice - his second opportunity in 18 months to fill a Supreme Court seat - stands to dramatically affect many aspects of American life, from abortion to voting rights to immigration. But with only 49 votes in the Senate, Democrats have few tools to work with.

Republican Senator John McCain, key to a Republican "yes" vote, endorsed the new nominee. Maine's Susan Collins and Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, who support abortion rights, are the Republicans considered most likely oppose a nominee deemed too conservative. Three Democrats up for re-election in states Trump won by double digits in 2016 - Indiana Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of IN and Heidi Heitkamp North Dakota. Joe Manchin and North Dakota Sen. He holds numerous same values as Justice Neil Gorsuch, who was also appointed to the Supreme Court by President Trump.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, who once held a court seat open for almost a year before the 2016 election to keep former President Barack Obama from filling it, lambasted Democrats for announcing their opposition before Trump had decided on a nominee.

Kavanaugh ruled in one case involving abortion a year ago and is considered a likely opponent of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.

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This story is breaking and will be updated.

Kyl, a former member of Republican leadership, served on the Senate Judiciary Committee before retiring in 2013. She once called a 1992 Supreme Court decision that upheld Roe v. Wade "erroneous". Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) told the president over the weekend that Hardiman and Kethledge would face the fewest obstacles to confirmation. "She's very smart, she knows what she's talking about, she's a law professor, I really have a high regard for her", Hatch said.

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

"I don't think my role is a rubber stamp for the President, but it's also not an automatic, knee-jerk no either", Jones said.

"There is no one in America who is more qualified for this position and no one who is more deserving", Trump said of his nominee".

Past announcements of Supreme Court nominees were not made in prime time.

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