Trump Builds Suspense Over Supreme Court Pick, but Battlelines Are Already Drawn

Washington. President Trump is expected to announce his choice for Supreme Court Justice Monday evening

Valentino explained that she and Appeals Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh would be strong conservative choices. We can not afford to allow Donald Trump to give lifetime terms on our courts to even more justices who would undermine or abolish these rights, rights that are fundamental to ensuring that all Americans enjoy liberty, justice, and equality.

"Justice Kavanaugh has the most experience but Justice Hardiman is the one that will get through the Senate more easily and he would bring better legal mind to the United States or in court than all four", Valentino told News10NBC. "Such an important decision, and we're going to give you a great one", Trump said last week, The Hill reported.

Casey's opponent in the Senate race, U.S. Rep Lou Barletta, R-Hazleton, has criticized Casey for his opposition to a Hardiman nomination.

"I'm very close to making a decision", Trump said.

"They know that they will not get a justice nominated if the American people know this is what they want to do", NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue said in a call with reporters last week.

The president can move the court firmly to the right with his selection, with the four finalists believed to be four appeals court judges: Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett, and Thomas Hardiman. A former aide to a Republican senator, Kethledge also previously worked as an in-house lawyer for Ford Motor Co. That list included two people with Alabama ties: justices Kevin Newsom and William "Bill" Pryor of Alabama, both with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11 Circuit. Barrett is popular with social conservatives, but her prospects for being nominated to the post are fading, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The appointment will not change the ideological breakdown of a court that already has a 5-4 conservative majority, but nevertheless could move the court to the right.

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The drama-focused president is going to announce his choice for the Kennedy seat in a Monday night address to the country at 9 p.m.

While activists and progressive groups are targeting moderate Republican senators who support abortion rights like Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, urging them to reject any Trump nominee who is hostile to Roe v. Wade, a handful of Democrats will be key in deciding whether the president gets his pick confirmed to the high court, because of the razor-thin partisan divide in the Senate. But Supreme Court rulings generally establish a base of precedent that future jurists respect and rarely challenge.

Barrett clerked for Scalia and earned high praise from conservatives for her answers about her Catholic faith at a Senate confirmation hearing previous year.

Republicans may have a narrower margin for error than they did when the Senate confirmed Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, by a vote of 54-45 in April 2017.

Republicans are eager for conservatives to gain a firm majority on the court.

The new justice can be expected to cast crucial votes on other matters of national importance including gay rights, gun control, the death penalty and voting rights.

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