Trump narrows Supreme Court nominee to 4 names

Phillip Cunningham
July 10, 2018

President Trump taunted his skeptics Sunday as he prepared to name his second nominee to the Supreme Court, tweeting a highlight reel of politicians and celebrities predicting he couldn't win the presidency.

After winning confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch previous year, Trump has teased his latest options for days, after narrowing down his list of prospects to four federal appeals-court judges: Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Raymond Kethledge and Thomas Hardiman.

President Trump is set to announce his Supreme Court pick Monday, appointing a jurist who has the chance to set the highest court on a new trajectory and deliver decisions to which conservatives have been looking forward for generations.

The White House hopes Kyl's close ties to Senate Republicans will help smooth the path for Trump's eventual selection to win confirmation.

A D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals' 2-1 opinion issued Monday is raising speculation that Judge Brett Kavanaugh is President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee.

The group started advertising after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement.

With a slim one vote majority in the Senate, any GOP defections could prove problematic in winning confirmation for Trump's eventual choice, that is if Democrats hold together in opposition.

"Big decision will soon be made on our next Justice of the Supreme Court!" he wrote.

Before boarding Air Force One en route to Washington, Trump said he was considering four people and that of those under consideration, "you can't go wrong". The President's hardline policy approach means the issue could well end up before the court soon.


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.

He served with Judge Maryanne Barry, President Trump's sister.

Recent developments underline the shrewdness of Trump's campaign team, which published a list of potential court nominees with stellar conservative credentials before he faced off against Hillary Clinton. He 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.

The Pittsburgh-based federal appeals judge was the runner up to Justice Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court nomination a year ago.

Gorsuch restored the court's conservative majority. Kethledge, 51, is a judge for the Cincinnati, Ohio-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, while Hardiman, 52, serves on the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals - also appointed by Bush. Trump insisted he still hadn't locked down his decision, which he wants to keep under wraps until a 9 p.m. Monday announcement from the White House.

Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) questions Barrett on her Catholic faith and whether it would influence her decisions on the federal appeals court in her Senate confirmation hearing, September 6, 2017.

Current position: Barrett was confirmed by the Senate to a lifetime appointment on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals this past October.

"I'm very confident with this president's enthusiasm and with Leader McConnell's enthusiasm that they can get anybody confirmed", Mr. Leo said on ABC's "This Week".

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