THREE LEFT: Trump Narrows Supreme Court Pick, Announcement Coming MONDAY

THREE LEFT: Trump Narrows Supreme Court Pick, Announcement Coming MONDAY

Kerry Wise
July 6, 2018

It's not surprising then - and indeed a "smart" strategy, according to Professor Lawless and others - that Democratic Senate minority leader Charles Schumer of NY is highlighting and pairing abortion rights and health care as issues that hang in the balance with Justice Kennedy's replacement.

The source told Reuters that Amy Coney Barrett of IN, a judge on the Chicago-based 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals, was still IN contention but that the Republican president had been asking more questions about the other two, who have more extensive judicial records. A Republican appointee, he has held the key vote on such high-profile issues as abortion, affirmative action, gay rights, guns, campaign finance and voting rights.

The Washington Post said Trump was focused on three federal appeals court judges, Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge and Amy Coney Barrett.

During Fourth of July festivities at the White House, Trump asked friends and advisers about Kavanaugh and Kethledge, in particular, they added, prompting much of Trump's circle to believe those two contenders could be the top finalists. He conducted interviews on Monday and Tuesday. He could still consider others in the mix.

"It's a great group of intellectual talent", Trump said. Trump is choosing his nominee from a list of 25 candidates vetted by conservative groups. The list has existed since Trump began searching for late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's replacement at the beginning of Trump's presidential term, which ultimately led to the appointment of Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch.

President Trump has spent most of this week interviewing candidates for the SCOTUS nomination.

President Donald Trump has said he plans to pick a young Supreme Court justice who could be on the court for 40 years or more. He's the only lawmaker on President Trump's list.

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A second person close to the president said Thursday that Kavanaugh and Kethledge are the shortlist.

Cruz said President George H.W. Bush's selection of liberal David Souter was "one of the most consequential errors of his presidency". Some conservatives have been lobbying against him, worrying that his upbringing in the suburbs of Washington could mean he's the kind of justice who has disappointed conservatives before. Both are federal appeals court judges. "When the Republicans thought they had the votes to repeal healthcare, the American people spoke up - went to town hall meetings, marched - and the Senate heard them".

Kethledge's sudden ascent in the process is widely seen in the West Wing as a effect of what conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh has called the "whisper campaign" against Kavanaugh, with the president newly intrigued by the University of Michigan Law School graduate. A former justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, she graduated from NU and Marquette University Law School.

"I tend to agree with those who say that a justice's duty is to the Constitution and that it is thus more legitimate for her to enforce her best understanding of the Constitution rather than a precedent she thinks clearly in conflict with it", Barrett wrote in 2013.

During her confirmation hearing for the 7th Circuit, Sen. Barrett, who only became a judge in November 2017, could use more experience on the bench, and the administration might save her for the event that 85-year-old Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaves the court.

Two GOP senators, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska support abortion rights.