A quick look at the "final four" Supreme Court candidates

Kethledge McConnell

Those views could have implications for independent counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Trump.

Kavanaugh is a longtime fixture of the Republican legal establishment. "He has a track record that demonstrates his talents and his judicial philosophy". Barrett has said she believes life begins at conception.

"Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a well-qualified nominee with extensive experience in the legal field", Moran said.

Another Democrat, Senator Richard Blumenthal, on Sunday assailed Trump's reliance on a list of potential nominees endorsed by the conservative Federalist Society.

To that end, Kansas Democratic Party executive director Ethan Corson was quick to blast the choice.

"Republicans are holding four lottery tickets, and all of them are winners", Graham said.

The New York Times reports that Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told President Trump that Judges Raymond M. Kethledge and Thomas M. Hardiman are the top two candidates for the position. Momentum appeared to be with Kavanaugh and Hardiman, though the process remained fluid. The White House prepared briefing materials on all four. Republicans will be looking to win their votes once more after a confirmation hearing that is expected to take place before the midterm elections.

Republicans control the Senate by a 51-49 majority, making any efforts by Democrats to thwart Trump's nominee an uphill battle.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) insisted Sunday on NBC News' "Meet the Press" that delaying Trump's nominee as a Democratic bloc is even more important than the reelection hopes of vulnerable red-state senators struggling to retain their seats by supporting the nominee.

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The president also tweeted on Saturday: "Big decision will soon be made on our next Justice of the Supreme Court!". Trump pledged in 2016 that he would be "putting pro-life justices on the court". At the top of that list is abortion. He is an evangelical Christian whose book, Lead Yourself First, uses President Dwight Eisenhower, primatologist Jane Goodall, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King Jr. and others as examples of "leaders who have used solitude to function more effectively".

MARTIN: Is there any way to discern how much President Trump is weighing the idea of confirmability in his process?

Kyl, who retired at the beginning of 2013, is a familiar face to many within the chamber. He works for the Washington-based lobbying firm Covington & Burling.

Trump and his advisers remain confident the Senate will confirm the president's second nominee.

"They know that they will not get a justice nominated if the American people know this is what they want to do", NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue said in a call with reporters last week. The president's attention in the coming days will be on meetings in Europe.

Three Democrats who were invited but declined were Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Meanwhile, liberal groups are already calling on two moderate Republican senators - Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska - to reject the nominee. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, to oppose any nominee who threatens Roe v. Wade. The two have supported access to abortion services.

Trump is set to announce his pick at 9 p.m. on Monday during a live television broadcast from the White House.

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