Trump meeting focuses on Supreme Court candidates Kavanaugh, Hardiman

11 July, 2018, 01:53 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Trump Expected to Unveil Supreme Court Nominee Monday Night

"The following list of potential Supreme Court justices is representative of the kind of constitutional principles I value and, as President, I plan to use this list as a guide to nominate our next United States Supreme Court Justices".

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.

Kavanaugh was appointed in 2006 by President George W. Bush to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. Hardiman was said to be the runner-up to succeed Antonin Scalia, the seat Neil Gorsuch eventually occupied after being confirmed in 2017.

Trump's approach to naming a new Supreme Court justice has unnerved some Democrats.

Trump had little to say about his choice before the announcement. Barrett has said she believes life begins at conception.

The president has spent the days leading up to the decision mulling the pros and cons of the various options with aides and allies.

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As a result, Democrats - unable to block the nominee unless they lure some Republican senators to their side - have stressed the high stakes of the president's decision as they prepare for the confirmation battle ahead.

Trump a year ago appointed Neil Gorsuch, who has already become one of the most conservative justices, after Senate Republicans in 2016 refused to consider Democratic former President Barack Obama's nominee Merrick Garland to fill a vacancy left by the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

Hardiman has a personal connection to the president, having served with Trump's sister on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. Barrett is a former University of Notre Dame law professor, (and a graduate of the school; Kavanaugh meanwhile received his undergrad and law degrees from Yale).

Trump's nominees edged out 3 other reported frontrunners: Raymond Kethledge, a strict interpreter of the US Constitution; Amy Coney Barrett, a devout Catholic and social conservative; and Thomas Hardiman, a staunch gun rights advocate.

The president and White House officials involved in the process have fielded calls and messages and have been on the receiving end of public pleas and op-eds for or against specific candidates since Kennedy announced on June 27 that he would retire this summer.

Penny Nance, president, and CEO of Concerned Women for America, said in a statement, "Judge Brett Kavanaugh is abundantly qualified to sit on the bench of the United States Supreme Court".

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Senate Democrats are sure to press Kavanaugh to explain his views on investigating and impeaching a president based on allegations of lies and a cover-up, something that could prove uncomfortable for Trump given the investigation under way by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

MARTIN: Although the four people who are on the short list are said to be people who would be potentially nominated by any Republican nominee. Another former Kennedy clerk, Kethledge is known for his strong defense of the Second Amendment.

Bob Casey (D-Pa.), who opposes abortion, announced on Monday he can not support a process that involved Trump's picking from a list of 25 candidates selected by conservatives and big business.

Trump also hopes to pressure several Democrats into voting to confirm his nominee.

Kennedy had voted to preserve the core principles of the high court's 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said over the weekend on "Fox News Sunday".

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He was taken by the Kings 35th overall and played two seasons in Sacramento before being traded to the Rockets in February 2013. Starting his career at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Honeycutt was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in 2011.

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