Judge Brett Kavanaugh named Trump's second Supreme Court justice

Judge Thomas Hardiman smiles during a meeting with The Associated Press in Philadelphia

Judge Thomas Hardiman smiles during a meeting with The Associated Press in Philadelphia

President Donald Trump: "Well, it's still-let's say it's the four people, but-and they're excellent, every one".

"Like President Trump's first appointment to the Supreme Court, Justice Neil Gorsuch, Judge Kavanaugh has demonstrated a commitment to interpreting the Constitution as it is written, rather than as he would personally like to have seen it written".

Donald Trump will reveal his replacement for retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the supreme court in a primetime address on Monday evening, a choice that could shift the ideological bent of the nation's highest court for decades. But he did make his pick, according to a person who was not authorized to speak publicly and commented only on condition of anonymity.

Senator Chuck Schumer, D-New York, also took to Twitter blasting President Trump's nominee selection stating, "In selecting Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, President Trump has put reproductive rights and freedoms and health care protections for millions of Americans on the judicial chopping block".

Almost 18 months after Trump set in motion Justice Neil Gorsuch's nomination, the reality star-turned-president is more seasoned, more embittered and increasingly comfortable exerting his will over the machinery of government and his own staff.

Drawn from a public list of 25 candidates approved by conservative groups, the president's top contenders include federal appeals court judges Brett Kavanaugh and Raymond Kethledge, with judges Amy Coney Barrett and Thomas Hardiman still considered in the mix.

Hatch said he is prepared for his 15th Supreme Court confirmation fight since becoming a senator.

Earlier Monday, the White House announced that former Arizona Sen. Senator Patrick Leahy is a longtime member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He works for the Washington-based lobbying firm Covington & Burling.

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"He is a brilliant jurist, with a clear and effective writing style, universally regarded as one of the finest and sharpest legal minds of our time", Trump said in his prime-time televised White House announcement.

Within Republican ranks, Senator Susan Collins has already signalled she could break with her party if Trump taps someone hostile to the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that guaranteed women's access to abortion.

Savoring the suspense, Trump has sought to keep people guessing in the final hours, hoping to replicate his successful announcement of Justice Neil Gorsuch past year.

The president has spent the days leading up to the decision mulling the pros and cons of the various options with aides and allies. "Sources say the president is somewhat enamored with his biography, as someone who's not from the Ivy Leagues and paid for college by being a taxi driver", said co-host Norah O'Donnell. But the situation appeared to remain fluid.

One concern among Democrats is that the choice will give conservatives an unbeatable advantage in the Court for generations to come, since Supreme Court justices serve for life or until they chose to retire. But his supporters have cited his experience and wide range of legal opinions.

Mr Trump announced his pick at the White House, where he lavished praise on the 53-year-old Mr Kavanaugh's judicial record and his Ivy League education at Yale Law School.

Kennedy's retirement left a hole for Trump to fill smack in the middle of the deeply divided court, where all nine justices tend to vote the way the presidents who nominated them expected. A self-described introvert, Kethledge co-authored a book, "Lead Yourself First", in which he talks about how some of the world's great leaders learned from solitude and quiet. On Saturday, he tweeted that a "Big decision" was coming soon. Kavanaugh also worked in the White House during George W. Bush's presidency.

Barrett, the only woman under consideration, has the support of Sean Hannity, the Fox News host and close Trump ally, who played golf with the president in New Jersey on Sunday.

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