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

A quick look at the

According to the Associated Press, President Trump's top four finalists for Supreme Court Justice are federal appeals judges Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett and Thomas Hardiman, although the president didn't officially say who they were. It's the same court that produced three current high court justices. In the mid-1990s, Kavanaugh joined Kenneth Starr's independent counsel team investigating President Bill Clinton and ultimately helped write the Starr Report to Congress.

It will be one of the most consequential decisions President Trump makes during his time in the White House, and he will announce it tonight.

All of Trump's top candidates were considered more solidly conservative than Kennedy.

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Kavanaugh is expected to meet in coming days with senators at their offices, going door-to-door in get-to-know-you sessions ahead of confirmation hearings.

Liberal Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders said in a tweet that if Kavanaugh is confirmed "it will have a profoundly negative effect on workers' rights, women's rights and voting rights for decades to come".

However, Democrats are expected to fight against the confirmation since Kennedy's departure serves as the loss of a deciding swing vote on many progressive issues. Given the Republican's slim 51-49 majority in the Senate, the conservative seemingly already has the numbers to take Kennedy's seat. John McCain of Arizona, is ill and may not be able to participate in the confirmation process.

Trump had said he hoped to make his decision by the time he returned Sunday from a weekend in New Jersey, but he told reporters en route to the White House that he needed more time.

"We are close to making a decision", Trump said. "And I believe this person will do a great job".

Young said in June that he wanted Trump to nominate "a faithful constitutionalist" to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

In his presidency of less than two years, this would be his second Supreme Court judge nomination. His mother, Martha, became a Maryland state judge a quarter-century ago. He was a clerk for Justice Kennedy and has strong ties to the Bush family, both as former staffer to George W Bush and for his legal role in the Florida recount in 2000.

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Is there a Supreme Court sign in these tea leaves?

"My judicial philosophy is straightforward. No president has ever consulted more or widely or talked to more people from more backgrounds to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination".

It is not exaggeration to say that the prospect of tipping the balance of the Supreme Court was the reason why evangelical conservative voters, who had plenty of reason to worry about Trump's character, chose to stick with him during the 2016 election campaign.

Cabot Phillips, who serves as the media director for Campus Reform, recently interviewed students at New York University in Manhattan about the Supreme Court pick.

On Monday before Trump announced his nominee, the White House sent out the list again and touted Trump's selection process.

Trump said in the wake of Kennedy's retirement that he would not be asking potential justices about Roe v. Wade.

Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, says it's "extremely disappointing" that some Democrats have made clear they'll oppose the nominee even before the president announces his choice.

"I'm very confident with this president's enthusiasm and with Leader [Mitch] McConnell's enthusiasm that they can get anybody confirmed", Leo told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" Sunday.

The nomination, 12 days after the retirement of Mr Kennedy, gives Republicans their best chance in decades at securing a five-member majority (out of nine) in the highest court in the USA and power to shape legal battles over guns, immigration, the environment and civil rights.

Meanwhile, liberal groups like NARAL Pro-Choice, Protect our Care and Demand Justice are pouring millions into ad campaigns of their own, drawing attention to what a conservative-leaning justice might mean for abortion rights, in particular.

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