Monday, 23 July, 2018

President Trump to Make Choice on SCOTUS Nominee on July 9

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in 2015 U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in 2015
Sherry Houston | 01 July, 2018, 08:15

Trump said he may begin interviewing candidates this weekend and is already considering two women.

In a tweet Saturday, Trump said that he would make his nomination to replace Kennedy "on the first Monday after the July 4th Holiday, July 9th!"

Republicans changed Senate rules a year ago to get Trump's conservative nominee Neil Gorsuch confirmed, lowering the threshold to advance Supreme Court nominations to a simple majority vote.

When asked about several specific potential nominees mentioned in recent days, including federal jurists Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, and U.S. Senator Mike Lee from Utah, Trump said each was "outstanding". "I'm going to try and do something like that, but I don't think I'm going to be so specific".

At the invitation of Trump, their executive vice president of the organization, Leonard Leo, helped handpick the 25 Supreme Court candidates that Trump will be choosing from. That list includes six women.

They include judges Amy Coney Barrett, 46, the most talked-about woman on the list; Thomas Hardiman, 52, the runner-up to Gorsuch previous year; Raymond Kethledge, 51, another former Kennedy clerk; and Amul Thapar, 49, a favorite of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Pro-choice demonstrators wave signs in front of the US Supreme Court 30 November 2005, in Washington, DC.

Roberts will become the new median justice if Trump nominates someone more conservative than the chief justice. "I said, 'Mr. President, that's your choice'".

A key part of the vetting process will likely be reviewing the judge's history of written opinions, said a person with knowledge of Trump's thinking, who noted that the range of Gorsuch's past opinions impressed Trump. "As long as I can do the job full steam, I will be here", she said in January.

In the wise words of Maya Angelou, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time".

Trump has moved quickly on his selection process.

White House aide Marc Short said on MSNBC that the White House hoped for a Senate confirmation vote in September.

The road to confirmation for Trump's pick is likely to be a contentious one, as Democrats are expected to push back.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has committed to confirming a nominee in the fall, which the Republican-controlled Senate should be able to do if McConnell can hold his razor-thin majority together.

Trump met on Thursday with senators from both parties at the White House to discuss the court vacancy created by the retirement of Kennedy, which was announced on Wednesday.

"We'd be very happy if he'd pick any name on that list", said Severino. The Supreme Court is now less seen as a final interpreter of our laws and arbiter of the Constitution but rather as just another political battleground.

Senate Democrats are calling to delay the vote until after the midterm elections, but McConnell has rejected their call and there is little Democrats can do to ultimately delay a vote.

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