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A quick look at the "final four" Supreme Court candidates

11 July 2018

"I have long heard that the most important decision a U.S. President can make is the selection of a Supreme Court Justice - Will be announced tonight at 9:00 P.M.", Trump tweeted on Monday morning.

Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana said he was bracing for a tough confirmation battle as Democrats focus on abortion.

But with mere hours left to go before his self-imposed deadline, Trump, who has been consulting with family, friends and advisers this weekend while in Bedminster, New Jersey, has reportedly yet to make a final decision.

The White House invited a number of senators to attend the Monday night announcement, including Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and committee member Kennedy.

"Democratic senators running for re-election in Trump Country face an agonizing choice over President Trump's coming Supreme Court nominee: Vote to confirm the pick and risk demoralizing Democratic voters ahead of the midterm elections, or stick with the party and possibly sacrifice their own seats - and any chance at a Democratic majority in 2019", the Times reported.

"A serious constitutional question exists regarding whether a president can be criminally indicted and tried while in office", Kavanaugh, a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals judge, wrote in an article in 2009.

The nomination is Trump's second to the nation's highest court, a rare presidential privilege that could seal a key part of Trump's legacy less than two years into his first term. It's about what [direction] the United States of America is going to chart as its course in the future on this Supreme Court.

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When asked if Putin was a friend or foe , Trump replied, "I really can't say right now - as far as I'm concerned, a competitor". The countries President Trump has publicly criticized and tweeted about have not increased their defense spending percentages.

Trump had little to say about his choice before the announcement.

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.

Kavanaugh, a former clerk for retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, is the leading contender for the SCOTUS position.

More than the other potential nominees, Hardiman has a strong record in favor of gun rights. Feinstein raised concerns about whether Barrett could separate her religious views from the law.

Some conservative activists in recent days had launched a campaign against Kavanaugh, complaining about his past ties to the George W. Bush administration and previous rulings that were not hard-line enough for their taste. He also worked for independent counsel Kenneth Starr during the Whitewater investigation of President Bill Clinton.

The US Supreme Court is the ultimate arbiter on contentious laws and disputes between states and the federal government.

In a 2013 law review article, Kavanaugh wrote that after seeing firsthand the many hard duties that a president encounters, he thinks that presidents should operate free from the threat of civil suits, such as the sexual harassment suit that led to Clinton's impeachment, and that presidents should also be free from criminal investigation. Kavanaugh would be less receptive to abortion and gay rights than Kennedy was. But Senate Democrats held up his confirmation for three years, accusing him of being a Bush political operative. "Casey is refusing to even consider the President's #SCOTUS nominee". "I don't think my role is to rubber-stamp for the president, but it's also not an automatic knee-jerk no, either". "We have to pick one that's going to be there for 40 years, 45 years".

A quick look at the