Trump Narrows SCOTUS Choices To Three

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The three judges are considered to be the strongest contenders ahead of President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nomination announcement on Monday evening. The three others interviewed were justices Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Raymond Kethledge.

"He looks, walks and quacks like John G. Roberts Jr.", said former Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli II, referencing the chief justice of the United States, who angered conservatives with his rulings on President Barack Obama's signature health-care law.

"The way we're looking at it is this: If we do a good enough job, we'll make it obvious enough that Collins or Murkowski will be the deciding vote on whether Roe v. Wade is overturned", one Democratic aide tells TIME, referring to the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case on abortion.

Asked about the details of the selection process, Trump said he has it down to four people.

Born in New Jersey, Kethledge grew up in MI and graduated from Birmingham Groves High School before attending the University of MI where he earned a bachelor's and law degree. "And I think of the four people I have it down to three or two".

As Trump's list tightened, there was some internal concern that the president's options could be narrowed by the public outcry - particularly what had appeared to be mounting conservative reservations about Kavanaugh.

The American Family Association spoke for many conservatives when they sent a letter to President trump saying, "we prayerfully, strongly, and humbly implore you to select the nominee with a demonstrably constitutional judicial philosophy and a verifiably strong will against political pressure..."

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As President Donald Trump continues to mull candidates to fill the Supreme Court seat being vacated by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, one judge may be at the front of the pack. Trump has asked about Kethledge, advisers said.

"I guarantee you this, if the president puts forward a federalist society, and that person is confirmed, we know Roe v Wade and a woman's right to choose is on the chopping block", Sen Jeff Merkley said.

Trump nominated Barrett for to the federal bench in May past year.

Brett Kavanaugh, 53, now serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C. He has two Yale degrees and first rose to prominence for his involvement in the investigation led by Ken Starr into then-President Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky.

Some have suggested that Kethledge could be another justice in the mold of Trump's first nominee, Neil Gorsuch. Mike Lee (R-Utah). Sen.

Bush also nominated Kethledge, of MI, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in March 2017. Politico reported on Monday that the liberal action group Demand Justice was investing $5 million into a shock-and-awe messaging campaign that would emphasize the threat posed to abortion rights by Trump's potential nominee. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) told Coney Barrett a year ago during her confirmation hearing in an exchange about the judge's Catholic faith - a comment that was roundly criticized by religious leaders.

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