Republicans Optimistic Senate Will Confirm Any of Trump's Supreme Court Picks

Alabama Democrat keeping an open mind on Trump's SCOTUS pick

Chicago-based judge Amy Coney Barrett is the only female on Trump's short list. Owned by 21st Century Fox, FNC is available in more than 90 million homes and dominates the cable news landscape, routinely notching the top ten programs in the genre.

"It is my honour and privilege to announce that I will nominate Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court", Trump said late on Monday from the White House. Regardless of his choice, it's likely that the closely divided Senate will be holding a momentous confirmation vote just weeks before the midterm election. Meanwhile, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona is battling brain cancer and has not been back to the Capitol since December. But four Democrats from states Trump won in 2016 voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch past year, leaving the Republicans room for error.

"This is a nightmare for red-state Democrats to oppose a highly qualified nominee, and all four of these people are highly qualified, been on the court, know what they're doing, mainstream judges", Graham said.

He also spoke highly of Hardiman and Kavanaugh, describing Kavanaugh as "politically very astute, honest, decent, good looking - he's got it all!"

"I'm not sure I'm leaning anywhere on those four nominees". "I will tell each senator that I revere the Constitution", he said. If confirmed by the Senate, I will keep an open mind in every case.

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With Kavanaugh, Trump is replacing a swing vote on the nine-member court with a staunch conservative.

Leo said Hardiman of Pennsylvania and Kethledge of MI are "a little bit less known by conservatives". Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the majority leader, has tried to warn the president through gentle nudging that Hardiman and Kethledge would be the safest choices for confirmation. He has ruled against voting rights. He has quizzed golf partners, visitors to his club at Bedminster, New Jersey, and friends and advisers about how they view the candidates. But in terms of selecting his nominee, the president said he would not use Roe v. Wade as a litmus test for a nominee. But he has a comparatively thin record of judicial opinions and some conservatives have voiced concerns that he could turn out to be similar to Justice David Souter, who was appointed to the court by President George H.W. Bush but sometimes sided with the court's liberals. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of ME were widely identified as the two lawmakers most likely to break with their party, given both their support of abortion rights, and the view that Kennedy's replacement had potential to be more conservative than he was in this regard. Previously, Collins voted for Gorsuch because of his belief in the significance of precedent.

Democrats in the past also have pointed to Kavanaugh's work for Bush during the recount fight in the pivotal state of Florida in the 2000 presidential election, a controversy that was resolved only after the conservative-majority Supreme Court sided with Bush over Democratic candidate Al Gore, settling the election outcome. Many, including Leo, believe that it was a major contributing factor to his victory in 2016. If confirmed, Kavanaugh would be the second justice installed by Trump, who nominated Neil Gorsuch to the court shortly after being inaugurated a year ago. Judge Thomas Hardiman is a USA appeals court judge that The Washington Post reports is a "Second Amendment extremist". Barrett, in her mid-40s, is a judge for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals; she was nominated by Trump.

"This is the moment conservative women have been waiting for - the chance to return justice and constitutional limits to the nation's highest court", Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America, said in a statement in June.

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