Trump prepares to unveil Supreme Court nominee

Judge Thomas Hardiman smiles during a meeting with The Associated Press in Philadelphia. President Donald Trump's list of candidates for the Supreme Court posted on White House website in November 2017 inclu

All of the candidates were on a list of 25 names released by the president in November. A conservative will tip the balance of the court for the first time in decades, and that puts Democrats in a bind.

Trump and aides have also been teasing reporters over the selection process, seeking to build suspense ahead of the big event. Jon Tester of Montana face the hard decision of whether to back Mr. Trump's nominee - which could help them win re-election, but at the cost of aggravating the Democratic Party's aggressive left wing. Kennedy, a member of the Judiciary Committee, which will get the first chance to question the nominee, predicted a "rough, tough, down in the dirt, ear-pulling, nose-biting fight". He is a Democrat from Vermont. Thanks so much, Sarah.

PATRICK LEAHY: Happy to be with you. An official said Thursday that Trump had completed his scheduled interviews for potential nominees. He's speaking Sunday on Fox.

The Republican caucus has a 51-49 advantage in the Senate, but one key member, Sen. They need only 50 votes to confirm Mr. Trump's nominee because Vice President Mike Pence would cast the deciding vote in the event of a tie.

"I am concerned that he's making it like a game show", Sen.

Once the president made his announcement, Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts took to Twitter to voice her dissent saying she'll "vote no" and "it's time to fight" because the nomination requires a Senate majority vote. "Whoever is nominated, whoever he or she is, they're going to be there for a long time". Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said they were invited to Monday night's event at the White House.

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In anticipation of Trump filling the vacancy left by the retiring Anthony Kennedy - widely considered to be the court's "swing vote" - with a judge thought to have more conservative bona fides, many outside advocacy groups are already bracing for what will likely be a contentious confirmation battle. Unlike the current Justices, Hardiman doesn't have an Ivy League law degree - a fact Trump said on the 2016 presidential campaign trail was a positive factor for a potential nominee if he became President.

"Well, it's still - let's say it's the four people". Whatever they decide will upset a large group of voters in their home states. But he says with his final four options "you can't go wrong". It's about what country - the United States of America - is going to chart as its course in the future on this Supreme Court. As an appeals court judge, Kethledge authored several notable opinions, including one that upheld the death penalty against a suspect who murdered a woman on federal land and a case in OH that questioned whether private citizens can sue the state for failing to enforce pollution controls. What's the litmus test? "I think we would certainly see an end to any further progression of the expansion of those rights".

Trump is believed to have narrowed his decision to four people on his short list: Brett Kavanaugh, Thomas Hardiman, Raymond Kethledge, and Amy Coney Barrett. I think each and every one of them take [s] that seriously, that personally.

LEAHY: I would hope that Democrats listen to the hearings and have an open mind to them. If Mr. McCain is not able to vote, only one Republican would have to defect to derail the confirmation, assuming the Democrats maintain flawless party discpline. Remember; we don't want to do what the Republicans did.

Hearings for the most recent nominees to the Supreme Court have lasted four or five days, though there were 11 days of hearings for Robert Bork's nomination in 1987. The ads, costing a total of $1.4 million to run, will feature biographical information about the nominee and will be aimed at red state Democrats, including newly elected Sen.

It did not - Reid did not change the rules for the Supreme Court, meaning nominees still effectively needed to meet the 60-vote threshold to avoid a filibuster. But Senate Democrats held up his confirmation for three years, accusing him of being a Bush political operative.

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