Senate fight for Kavanaugh's confirmation already in progress

Pres. Trump: 'Very Close' To Making Final Supreme Court Pick

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"Certainly, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Barrett have a lot of name recognition among supporters of the president, and I think that ultimately, when people like them are nominated, you'll see a lot of folks line up", he said. In 2006, they both voted in favor of Kavanaugh to be United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit. They said Kavanaugh would restrict abortion rights, undermine the Affordable Care Act, and give Trump a blank check in executive decision-making. If Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., does not return to vote after months of absence fighting cancer and Democrats hold together in opposition, a single Republican defection could sink the nominee.

Trump's post came on the eve of his second lifetime appointment to the nine-member Supreme Court, one of the more powerful perks of office.

"I will conduct a careful, thorough vetting of the President's nominee to the Supreme Court, as I have done with the five previous Supreme Court Justices whom I have considered".

And it worked. Following the death of Antonin Scalia and the blocked nomination of Merrick Garland, the victor of 2016's presidential election was going to have the power to shift the ideological makeup of the court - the possibility of which played a significant role in drawing people to the polls.

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Democrats' hopes are pinned on two Republican senators, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who both oppose any nominee who threatens the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling recognizing abortion as a constitutional right. Kennedy administered the judicial oath to his former clerk.

Kavanaugh's confirmation will run through the Senate, prompting the endorsement from Cashman, Bidwill and several of their Georgetown Prep alumni.

"She's been very clear that it's not the role of a judge to substitute religious beliefs with the rule of law", said Rick Garnett, a long-time friend and colleague of Barrett.

More than the other potential nominees, Hardiman has a strong record in favor of gun rights. "What we need to know is that anyone coming onto the Supreme Court is going to uphold the law of the land and particularly a woman's right to decide what happens to her own body". As an aide to independent counsel Kenneth Starr in the 1990s, Kavanaugh argued that then-president Bill Clinton could be impeached for misleading the public.

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Kavanaugh, 53, was first nominated to the appeals court by President George W. Bush in 2003.

In his dozen years on the court, Kavanaugh has been involved in some 286 opinions.

In the coming year the court might have to consider Trump's powers and rights in the investigation into links between his presidential campaign and Russian Federation, and whether he sought to obstruct that investigation. Two of Trump's closest advisers on the issue - Federalist Society vice president Leonard Leo and White House counsel Don McGahn - were both reportedly behind picking Kavanaugh. While waiting, he's penned he has written almost 300 opinions and sent 41 of his law clerks to similar posts at the high court - far more than any of the other leading candidates for the nomination.

The confirmation process is expected to dominate Washington ahead of November's mid-term elections, with the Republicans holding a narrow 51-49 majority in the Senate. All three voted to confirm Gorsuch and are up for re-election in states that Trump won handily.

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Outside adviser Leonard Leo, now on leave from the Federalist Society, said on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that this kind of jockeying is standard, noting that "every potential nominee before announcement gets concerns expressed about them by people who might ultimately support them". Doug Jones, D-Ala., said in a Sunday interview on CNN's State of the Union. "Following the president's announcement, I will carefully review and consider the record and qualifications of Judge Brett Kavanaugh".

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