Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Medicine | By Melba Vasquez

Red-state Democrats turn down White House invitation to Supreme Court announcement

Red-state Democrats turn down White House invitation to Supreme Court announcement

Mr. Trump is set to announce his selection at 9 p.m.at the White House to replace retiring Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

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.

"Hardiman was fully vetted last time, and flawless record, too", a source outside but close to the White House told NPR. Jon Kyl of Arizona would guide the nominee through the Senate confirmation process.

First, some background: Following Trump's unveiling, the nominee will make the rounds to meet privately with the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will hold hearings with the choice, then vote on the nomination. He works for the Washington-based lobbying firm Covington & Burling. An official said Thursday that Trump had completed his scheduled interviews for potential nominees.

"I suspect this is going to be a rough, tough, down in the dirt, ear-pulling, nose-biting fight", Kennedy said.

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The rollout will be modeled on the seamless presentation in January 2017 of the President's first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, in what was undeniably one of his most successful and most well-managed moments as President.

The president has spent the days leading up to his announcement discussing the pros and cons of the various options with aides and allies. But the situation appeared to remain fluid.

The real players are folks like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose late-hour political jockeying upended the notion that the high court spot was D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh's to lose. Hardiman, who drove a cab as he worked his way through college, was in the running for the seat that eventually went to Gorsuch.

Democrats see the seat being vacated by Justice Kennedy, a conservative judge who sometimes sided with the court's liberal wing, as critical to maintaining abortion rights and key provisions of former President Barack Obama's healthcare plan. But his supporters cite his experience and wide range of legal opinions.

Kethledge, like Kavanaugh, is a former Kennedy clerk. Barrett is Catholic and was better known as a professor at Notre Dame before being named a federal judge a year ago.

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Supreme Court is seen as the court nears the end of its term in Washington, U.S., June 11, 2018.

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of CT, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said the president "outsourced" his decision to the conservative Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation, which first helped Trump compile a list of 25 prospective Supreme Court justices during the 2016 campaign. On Saturday, he tweeted that a "Big decision" was coming soon.

Republicans in the Senate need to be completely united on the pick, because of the delicate nature of their majority. Sen. Dick Durbin of IL on NBC's "Meet the Press" said Sunday. Barrett is a former University of Notre Dame law professor (and a graduate of the school; Kavanaugh meanwhile received his undergrad and law degrees from Yale).

"I appreciate the President inviting me to attend tonight's announcement at the WH. And I expect we will do that on sort of a normal timetable, a couple of months". "It's - well, let's just say it's the four people".

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