Trump weighs top picks for Supreme Court amid last-minute maneuvering

The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. MUST CREDIT Washington Post

Brett Kavanaugh, who serves on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit, replaces retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. He also was a key aide to Kenneth Starr during Starr's investigation of President Bill Clinton, worked on behalf of George W. Bush's campaign during the election recount in 2000 and served in the Bush White House.

"We are going and mobilizing where we have leverage", said Mallory Quigley, a spokeswoman for the group. "It has been decided by the Supreme Court".

Despite the cohesiveness among most Senate Democrats on the anti-Kavanaugh messaging, it's not yet clear how three moderate members of the caucus - Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., all of whom voted for Justice Neil Gorsuch and are in the midst of tough re-election fights this year, will vote.

"We have a president whose statements and policies are rooted in racism".

Orthodox groups are likely to welcome a court that protects public religious expression over strict separation, as it did in recent rulings confirming a baker's right to refuse to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding.

With Trump no favorite among liberals, Maddow's audience is likely to be smaller: Fox drew almost five times as many viewers as MSNBC for Gorsuch's nomination, the Nielsen company said.

"If confirmed by the Senate, I will keep an open mind in every case and I will always strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States and the American rule of law", Kavanaugh said.




Mid-afternoon, Senate Democratic Minority leader Chuck Schumer was on his feet in the chamber, warning of the dire impact of whomever Trump picked on two issues vital to the mid-term election hopes of Democrats, Obamacare and a woman's right to choose. As a longtime constitutional Republican with Bush-era credentials, Kavanaugh's nomination has Democrats anxious over a GOP play to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case which decriminalized abortion access.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Schumer said Kavanaugh is a "deeply, deeply conservative justice, way out of the mainstream". Leahy was referring to Kavanaugh's assertion, in a 2009 article in the Minnesota Law Review, that sitting presidents should not be subject to indictments, civil lawsuits or criminal investigations.

The Democrats have turned their attention to pressuring two Republicans, Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) took office in 1975, but Vermont's senior senator said the stakes have never been higher than they are over President Donald Trump's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.

Like the other eight justices on the court, Kavanaugh has an Ivy League law degree, spending his undergraduate and law school years at Yale. Kavanaugh needs only a simple majority of 50 votes for confirmation; there are 51 Republicans in the upper chamber, but Sen.

He came across as a decent, humble family man, in a way that may complicate efforts of liberals to use him as the poster boy for what many see as a new front on the war on women they believe a conservative majority on the court will declare.

The DNC published a blog post earlier in the morning paired with a picture of another of Trump's finalists for the Supreme Court nomination, Judge Thomas Hardiman, instead of Kavanaugh.

"Montanans have a lot on the line with this next Supreme Court Justice, so I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to put politics aside and do what's best for this nation", Tester said.

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