Trump to unveil Supreme Court pick for the ages

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Trump's short list continued to vacillate in the hours leading up to tonight's prime-time finale, where his choice to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy will be revealed.

The President said last week that of the winnowed group of four potential nominees he is now considering, "I have it down to three or two", and he will announce his decision Monday evening.

Of those, the shortlist is understood to have boiled down to four judges from various United States courts of appeal - Amy Barrett, Thomas Hardiman, Brett Kavanaugh and Raymond Kethledge. "I'm glad he's on the list - are all winners", Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on "Fox News Sunday".

"If you're a conservative Republican, the four people named-particularly Thomas Hardiman, I'm glad he's on the list-are all winners, and every Republican should embrace these picks".

Republicans outnumber Democrats, 51 to 49, in the Senate. But I'm very close to making a decision.

In his conversations over the weekend, Trump expressed renewed interest in Hardiman _ the runner-up when Trump nominated Gorsuch, said two people with knowledge of his thinking who were not authorized to speak publicly.

"I'm not sure I'm leaning anywhere on those four nominees". "I don't think my role is to rubber stamp for the president, but it's also not an automatic knee-jerk no, either".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell advised Trump that Kethledge and Hardiman would be easiest to confirm, according to multiple news reports citing administration officials.

President Donald Trump with first lady Melania Trump, background right, board Air Force One at Morristown Municipal Airport, in Morristown, N.J., Sunday, July 8, 2018, en route to Washington from Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.

"Bob Casey was for Judge Hardiman before he was against him, showing yet again that Casey will oppose anything President Trump does, even if it means contradicting himself", Barletta said in a statement.

Leo said that rallying Democrats on the issue of Roe v. Wade is a "scare tactic". That decision was reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court this year in a landmark ruling. "We've been talking about this for 36 years going all the way back to the nomination of Sandra O'Connor, and after that you only have a single individual on the court who has expressly said he would overturn Roe". Previously, Collins voted for Gorsuch because of his belief in the significance of precedent.

In the course of the 2016 election, Trump made changing the face of the USA supreme court a key campaign pledge that was instrumental in firing up his base of right-wing conservative voters. Many, including Leo, believe that it was a major contributing factor to his victory in 2016. As an appeals court judge, Kethledge authored several notable opinions, including one that upheld the death penalty against a suspect who murdered a woman on federal land and a case in OH that questioned whether private citizens can sue the state for failing to enforce pollution controls. Hardiman, 52, who was also appointed by Bush, serves on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

Barrett, who is 46, has less of a judicial record to review, having just been nominated to the appeals court by Trump a year ago.

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