Trump says he's narrowed Supreme Court nominees to 2 or 3

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Amid fierce lobbying by groups aligned with the different candidates, the president prepared to decamp to his Bedminster, N.J., golf resort later Thursday to make his final decision, according to people familiar with the search who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the selection process. The others are federal appeals court judges, Brett Kavanaugh, who sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia - he was raised in Bethesda, Md. - and Raymond Kethledge, who lives near Ann Arbor, Michigan, and sits on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Pence met in person with Kethledge and Barrett while he was vacationing in IN earlier this week and met with Kavanaugh at the Naval Observatory on July 4, said a person familiar with the process who was not authorized to speak publicly.

Trump was at his private golf club in New Jersey Friday and planned to spend the weekend there, consulting with advisers as he picks his court nominee amid intense jockeying from various factions seeking to influence the choice. Harry Reid broke Senate precedent in late 2013 by changing the rules mid-session on a majority-only vote to eliminate the filibuster on presidential nominations with the Supreme Court as the only exception.

Arguing that "the faithful application of the Constitution is the bedrock of our freedom", the president said his pick will also have "impeccable credentials, great intellect, unbiased judgement and deep reverence for the laws and Constitution of the United States".

Americans want a new Supreme Court justice who shares their views on immigration and voting rights - even more than someone who agrees with them on abortion, according to a new poll. "I'm not even sure, whatever that means", Severino said. The four judges who were appointed by Democratic presidents have an average age of 71.5 years, nearly five years more than on the Republican side.

McConnell acknowledged that his fellow Kentuckian, Judge Amul Thapar, is a finalist, but noted, "The competition at this level is pretty intense". He conducted interviews Monday and Tuesday.

"We've already seen the President's list of potential SCOTUS nominees".

Abortion rights advocates tweet coat hangers pics aimed at swing-vote senator
Wade will soon be overruled if Trump gets the chance to appoint a justice who could cast a potentially decisive vote against it. That tact can go a long way to find a justice who would rule against abortion rights without triggering widespread opposition.

Paul also describes Barrett as conservative. He cited former justices William Brennan, John Paul Stevens and Harry Blackmun, who authored the Roe v. Wade decision that established a woman's right to abortion. His speed in getting the nomination process underway is tied to the Republican Party's desire to get a justice approved before the midterm elections.

Judge Kavanaugh clerked for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy - whose looming retirement at the end of this month created the opening Mr. Trump is trying to fill. Kennedy was often a swing vote on the court, sometimes siding with the court's conservatives and, at others, with the court's liberals.

This could not have been clearer with the recent announcement by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who said he will retire after 30 years on the bench effective July 31.

As a former clerk who worked at the Supreme Court for Justice Scalia and as a Notre Dame law professor, Barrett has the necessary training, knowledge, and philosophy to serve on the Supreme Court.

Kethledge's sudden ascent in the process is widely seen in the West Wing as a outcome of what conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh has called the "whisper campaign" against Kavanaugh, with the president newly intrigued by the University of Michigan Law School graduate. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) told Coney Barrett previous year during her confirmation hearing in an exchange about the judge's Catholic faith - a comment that was roundly criticized by religious leaders. Recognizing the stakes, many Democrats have lined up in opposition to any Trump pick.

One group aligned with Democrats began running ads Thursday in the home states of Sens.

Two GOP senators, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska support abortion rights.