Supreme jockeying ahead of Donald Trump’s prime-time reveal of court pick

The Supreme Court building

The Supreme Court building

Another contender Judge Raymond Kethlidge made headlines blasting the IRS over its treatment of tea party groups.

Hardiman has a tale Republicans like McConnell love: a former taxi driver from the key swing state of Pennsylvania who comes with the recommendation of fellow 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Maryanne Trump Barry - the president's sister.

"The four people - they're excellent, every one", Trump told reporters yesterday en route to the White House from his Bedminster, N.J., estate, where playmaking by lawmakers, conservative advocates and others reached a fever pitch over the weekend.

Trump's success in confirming conservative judges, as well as a Supreme Court justice, has cheered Republicans amid concerns about his limited policy achievements and chaotic management style.

Trump plans to announce his pick to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy during prime time Monday night. He claimed that due to how dysfunctional the two parties were, it is unlikely that many Democrats would support a Trump nominee. Democratic Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama faces reelection in 2020. A former White House aide under Bush who previously worked for Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel who investigated Democratic former President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, he faced a long confirmation battle when Bush nominated him to his current post.

Barrett - a longtime Notre Dame Law School professor who became a federal appeals judge last fall - excited social conservatives with her testimony when she was questioned about her Roman Catholic faith in her nomination hearings past year.

If Collins and Murkowski vote "no" and Democrats all vote "no", the nomination would be blocked.

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John Roberts now serves as the chief White House correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC). With the expected absence of Republican senator John McCain due to brain cancer, Republicans only have 50 votes.

"Maybe a handful of Democrats will vote for a Trump pick because they have to politically", Graham said. "This is a nightmare for red-state Democrats, to oppose a highly qualified nominee and all four of these people are highly qualified", he added.

"I'm open to voting yes". We don't know who this nominee is going to be yet.

"I think the path to confirmation for any of the final four is not a problem", he told CNN.

A source familiar with the process said Trump has made his choice.

- The coming battle over a Supreme Court nominee promises to be a bruising one. The nomination is poised to cement the Supreme Court's conservative majority, vastly reshaping the court for decades to come.

The president has also spoken with confidence about how his Supreme Court pick will work out.

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