Trump picks conservative Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court

Trump picks conservative judge Kavanaugh for U.S. Supreme Court

Two candidates on President Donald Trump's list of potential Supreme Court nominees - federal appeals court Judges Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett - were singled out for praise Sunday by a top legal adviser to the president, indicating they remain prominent in the search.

In 2006, President Bush, watches the swearing-in of Brett Kavanaugh as Judge for the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Judge Kavanaugh recently voiced disagreement with a court decision allowing an undocumented teenage immigrant to have an abortion. Like Trump's first nominee past year, Justice Neil Gorsuch, Kavanaugh would be a young addition who could help remake the court for decades to come with rulings that could restrict abortion, expand gun rights and roll back key parts of Obamacare. Kavanaugh and Gorsuch served as law clerks to Kennedy at the same time early in their legal careers.

The source told Reuters that Amy Coney Barrett of IN, a Trump-appointed judge on the Chicago-based 7th U.S. 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. As an attorney, Kavanaugh worked for the special counsel investigating former President Bill Clinton, who was eventually impeached, and also worked for the Bush campaign during the 2000 presidential election recount.

Kethledge serves as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati, Ohio. Democrats who were invited but declined included Sens.

Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of SC and Roy Blunt of Missouri said Sunday that they believe any of the top four contenders could get confirmed by the GOP-majority Senate.

Republicans hold 51 seats in the Senate, though Arizona Sen. "Maybe a handful of Democrats will vote for a Trump pick because they have to politically". But he had made his final decision, according to a person with knowledge of the president's thinking who was not authorized to speak publicly. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the Senate will vote on the court nominee in the fall.

Conservatives will focus on moderate Democrats running for re-election in Trump country, such as Indiana's Joe Donnelly, North Dakota's Heidi Heitkamp and West Virginia's Joe Manchin. But some Democrats accused him of excessive partisanship and it took three years before the Senate eventually voted to confirm him.

Liberal groups have geared up to protect Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that upheld women's rights to an abortion, from being overturned.

That means Kavanaugh is not a stranger to tough confirmation fights.

A graduate of Yale Law School, Kavanaugh is married and has two children. White House counsel Don McGahn's office is overseeing the effort.

Hatch, who has participated in the confirmation hearings for 15 justices, including all nine now on the high court, says any one of the four would make a good justice. Kennedy ruled multiple times in favor of abortion rights during his 30-year Supreme Court tenure. Of the court's liberal justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 85 and Stephen Breyer turns 80 next month, so Trump may well get another opportunity to cement conservative dominance of the court for years to come.

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