Trump to Appoint Extreme Ideologue to the Supreme Court

Pres. Trump: 'Very Close' To Making Final Supreme Court Pick

Here Are Trump’s Reported ‘Final Four’ Picks for Supreme Court Justice

Politico reported Monday that Hardiman is one of the president's top candidates to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is retiring at the end of July.

All of the candidates were on a list of 25 names released by the president in November. The finalists include: appeals court judges Brett Kavanaugh of Maryland, Raymond Kethledge of MI and Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana. John McCain, R-Ariz, is absent getting cancer treatment, so Republicans now have just a 50-49 vote hold. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said over the weekend on "Fox News Sunday".

Like Trump's first nominee to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, Kavanaugh clerked for Kennedy.

A handful of Senate Democrats running for re-election in states that Trump won handily in 2016 could face a hard vote on the court nominee, potentially providing Republicans with an additional buffer if they decide to support the president.

Hardiman could also have one important advocate. "I don't think my role is to rubber stamp for the President, but it's also not an automatic knee-jerk no, either". The official said Trump decided on Kavanaugh because of his large body of jurisprudence cited by other courts, describing him as a judge that other judges read. He then introduced Kavanaugh, who shook hands with Trump before standing with his wife and two daughters.

And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had pushed Trump to pick Sixth Circuit's Raymond Kethledge, being perhaps least controversial and most likely to win approved by enough Dems to augment GOP's thumbs up, which matters because of Republicans' slim edge in the Senate and Sen. Kavanaugh has an extensive paper trail that could potentially enable Democrats to stretch the confirmation beyond the 2018 midterm election. Two other judges, Amul Thapar and Joan Larsen have also been considered by the President.

But that doesn't mean Hardiman is out of the mix. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, to oppose any nominee who threatens Roe v. Wade. "We take Trump at his word that Brett Kavanaugh would overturn Roe v. Wade and get rid of the Affordable Care Act".

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Signaling the fight ahead on abortion rights, Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement: "There's no way to sugarcoat it: With this nomination, the constitutional right to access safe, legal abortion in this country is on the line".

"One Republican senator can decide the fate of any Supreme Court nominee", said Sen.

As soon as Trump announces his Supreme Court pick, Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative political advocacy organization, says it will start airing ads in Alabama, Indiana, North Dakota and West Virginia promoting the nomination. Many, including Leo, believe that it was a major contributing factor to his victory in 2016.

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

Casey's opposition extends to Fox Chapel's Thomas M. Hardiman, who sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

The nominee has amassed a solidly conservative judicial record since 2006 on the influential US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the same court where three current justices including Chief Justice John Roberts previously served. Kavanaugh has ties to the Bush family, which has often drawn ire from Trump, but he has investigated the Clintons and recommended the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton.

All four federal judges have the endorsement of major Republican legal groups, most importantly the powerful Federalist Society.

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