Trump picks conservative judge Kavanaugh for U.S

Larry Hoffman
July 10, 2018

Trump also likes that he's written a book, reports Time, which also notes, however, that the president hasn't read it.

"There's not gonna be a President Donald Trump", actor George Clooney said. "I think it's a bit of a scare tactic and rank speculation", Leo said on "This Week" Sunday, saying "nobody really knows" how Trump's nominee would rule on abortion if it ever arose.

CBS has learned he's narrowed the list of contenders to four appeals court judges.

Brett Kavanaugh of Washington, D.C. The finalists include: appeals court judges Brett Kavanaugh of Maryland, Raymond Kethledge of MI and Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana.

MARTIN: So who's left on the president's short list?

Trump's made-for-TV announcement mirrored his January selection of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh said, "My judicial philosophy is straightforward".

The New York Times is reporting that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has weighed in and is trying to urge Trump to pick either Kethledge or Hardiman for ease of confirmation. On the bright side, Kavanaugh worked for Ken Starr during his probe of President Bill Clinton, and is credited by pundits with some of the most salacious questions to that POTUS. They see him as too pragmatic and have painted him as the kind of nominee who could betray conservatives. He was confirmed just 66 days after he was nominated.

On Sunday Leonard Leo, a Federalist Society official who has been advising Trump, added a fourth name: that of Thomas Hardiman, 53, a federal appeals court judge in Philadelphia. Given Trump's known habit of leaning on family ties and valuing loyalty above all, that could be decisive.

Trump has moved quickly to make a nomination while Republicans hold a bare majority in the Senate, which needs to approve the appointment.

Meanwhile, liberal groups are already calling on two moderate Republican senators - Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska - to reject the nominee. I do think the president has to think about who is the easiest to get confirmed here. "And I expect we'll do that on sort of a normal timetable of a couple of months".

Collins has said she would not back a nominee who seeks to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 court case that legalized abortion.

Current justices range in age from Elena Kagan, 58, to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85.

Broadcast networks scrambled to clear room on their primetime schedules at 9 PM in order to cover Trump's announcement, ABC interrupting summer reality TV workhorse The Bachelorette, to carry Survivor: Scotus.

The White House and Republican party want the nomination in the bag before November's mid-term elections.

What is nearly certain - and those across the political spectrum agree - is that Kavanaugh's selection will spark a major confirmation battle in the U.S. Senate, where Republicans hold a narrow 51-49 majority and opposition Democrats say they will fight to prevent the high court from swinging further to the right.

President Donald Trump is set to announce his nomination for the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, to fill the seat vacated by Justice Anthony Kennedy when he announced his retirement on the last day of the Supreme Court session on June 28th.

Still, Trump has recounted how close he came to selecting Hardiman, who was recommended by the president's sister and sometime confidante, retired federal judge Maryanne Trump Barry.

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