Home Politics Trump Said To Narrow SCOTUS Pick Down To 3 Candidates

Trump Said To Narrow SCOTUS Pick Down To 3 Candidates

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A day before the White House’s first round of China-specific tariffs are set to take effect, Bloomberg is reporting that President Trump has narrowed down his list of potential Supreme Court candidates to three federal appeals court judges: Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaughand Raymond Kethledge. Among these three candidates, Trump is said to favor: Kavanaugh and Kethledge, according to two insiders.

Meanwhile, Trump has reportedly interviewed at least seven candidates to replace outgoing justice Anthony Kennedy. Trump has said he’ll name his nominee July 9, and the White House aims to have Kennedy’s successor confirmed in time for the court’s next session in October. That could be difficult as legislators head out for their summer recess, as Bloomberg reminds us.

The confirmation process promises to be a fight. As soon as Kennedy announced his retirement plans in late June, Democrats mobilized against Trump’s eventual pick, arguing that anyone he selects would help roll back abortion rights, Affordable Care Act protections, same-sex marriage and scores of other decisions that have shaped modern America while ruling in favor of corporations and against under-represented minorities.

Even though Democrats pulled out the so-called “nuclear option” back in 2013 to make it easier to push through presidential nominees, Republicans’ slim 51-49 advantage means that the success of Trump’s nominee will turn on a handful of moderate votes from Senators like Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski. Murkowski and her moderate peers like Susan Collins of Maine are wary of approving a justice who would support the overturn of Roe v. Wade.

The confirmation process promises to be a fight. As soon as Kennedy announced his retirement plans in late June, Democrats mobilized against Trump’s eventual pick, arguing that anyone he selects would help roll back abortion rights, Affordable Care Act protections, same-sex marriage and scores of other decisions that have shaped modern America while ruling in favor of corporations and against under-represented minorities.

With Republicans holding just a 51-49 advantage in the Senate, the fate of the nominee will turn on a handful of Senate outliers in both parties — Republicans who support abortion rights and Democrats who don’t.

Barrett, 46, is currently on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals after being nominated by Trump in mid-2017 and confirmed in October. Before joining the bench, she was a professor at Notre Dame Law School, her alma mater, and two decades ago, clerked for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Like four of the five Christians on the court, Barrett is a Roman Catholic. If confirmed, she would be the fifth woman to join the court and one of four currently on the court.

Responding to a question about Barrett during an interview on Air Force One last month, Trump praised her profusely, calling her “an outstanding woman.” Meanwhile, hobbyist forecasters placing bets in the online market see Kavanaugh as the frontrunner, with Kethledge representing a close second.

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Kavanaugh, 53, is a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Washington DC circuit who has a background in politics. Before he was nominated to the Washington DC circuit court back he was Bush’s White House staff secretary and worked for Bush during the 2000 Florida vote recount. He also played a lead role in drafting Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr’s 1998 report on Bill Clinton. He is a Yale Law School graduate.

 

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