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

Report Sen. Mike Lee no longer in serious consideration for the Supreme Court opening

Report Sen. Mike Lee no longer in serious consideration for the Supreme Court opening

President Trump has reportedly narrowed his short list of potential Supreme Court nominees to just three people this week; setting the stage for his historic announcement that could come as early as Monday.

Trump's top contenders for the vacancy at this time are federal appeals judges Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Raymond Kethledge, said a person familiar with Trump's thinking who was not authorized to speak publicly to the AP. But Trump has been asking more questions about Kethledge and Kavanaugh. We hit a home run there, and we're going to hit a home run here.

Barrett, 46, is now on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals after being nominated by Trump in mid-2017 and confirmed in October. "The American people since Trump became president have gone to airports to protect immigrants, they've marched for women's rights". Trump headed out of town to Montana Thursday. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota - met with Trump to talk about the Supreme Court vacancy. But that "elevates the saliency of other issues" where the Supreme Court has ruled, including the Affordable Care Act and coverage for contraception.

No Supreme Court nominee is a completely safe bet.

Barrett, a former law clerk for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, won Senate conformation October 31 on 55-43 vote.

Conservative activists want Trump to replace him with a nominee who is more unwaveringly conservative. The appointment of either judge would broaden that gap to 10 years.

Cruz has been pushing for Lee since Kennedy's retirement was first announced.

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Some conservatives have pointed to Kethledge as a potential justice in the mold of Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's first Supreme Court nominee a year ago. The president described the potential picks as "outstanding".

Merkley said he will lobby his colleagues to "push back fiercely" against what he called any "extremist, Federalist Society" judicial nominee, and instead demand a nominee from the "judicial mainstream". "They are generally conservative".

Kethledge, 51, like Kavanaugh, also clerked for Kennedy. His grandfather invented an acoustically guided torpedo that sunk dozens of Nazi U-boats during World War II. Both are federal appeals court judges. "It's a good problem to have for the president because the reported finalists are committed to the Constitution". The office has a pine desk, a wood stove, and no internet.

Kavanaugh, 53, was born in Washington. Kethledge, a Michigan Law graduate, would add academic diversity to a court steeped in the Ivy League. He also led the probe into the suicide of Clinton aide Vincent Foster and worked on the Clinton-linked Whitewater investigation. He was appointed in 2006 by George W. Bush. The nomination was stalled for three years.

This emphasis on moral considerations over constitutional originalism can be seen in one of Kethledge's opinions, United States v. Gabrion, where he wrote for the majority of the entire Sixth Circuit.

Collins said Sunday during a television interview that she won't support a nominee who has "demonstrated hostility" to Roe v. Wade because that would mean "their judicial philosophy did not include a respect for established decisions, established law". Before that, she was a law professor at the University of Notre Dame. John McCain may not be able to vote because of health issues, so confirming the nominee would require every other Republican senator's support unless a Democrat crosses party lines. "The dogma lives loudly within you, and that's of concern", Feinstein said of Barrett.

The Senate confirmed Barrett in October 2017. But other factors will also be in play as the candidates are vetted: their ideological bent, gender, ability to be confirmed and even whether they meet Trump's requirement that they be "not weak". They are the parents of seven children, two of whom are adopted from Haiti and a third - their youngest - who has special needs.

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