Pres. Trump to tap Brett Kavanaugh for high court

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In dissenting against the Affordable Care Act, Kavanaugh claimed that "the President may decline to enforce a statute... when the President deems the statute unconstitutional, even if a court has held or would hold the statute constitutional". NY time to name his choice.

McConnell and Trump were rewarded this year with a string of 5-4 decisions in which Gorsuch cast votes favorable to the president and the GOP. "An exceptional person will be chosen". Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on "Fox News Sunday". Those who would limit or end abortion praised the choice, while those who aim to expand and preserve abortion rights were critical.

Kavanaugh was on the shortlist of nominees along with Thomas Hardiman, Raymond Kethledge and Amy Coney Barrett. Trump had a strong favorable reaction to Kethledge, while Barrett was seen as a less likely choice. The president has said that he narrowed the list of potential candidates from 25 to two or three.

Trump a year ago appointed Neil Gorsuch, who has already become one of the most conservative justices, after Senate Republicans in 2016 refused to consider Democratic former President Barack Obama's nominee Merrick Garland to fill a vacancy left by the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

And Hardiman's working-class roots - his time driving a taxi during his days as a law student at Georgetown University - have been cited as an attribute inside the White House, along with his conservative rulings.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is asking Republicans to delay the vote on Kavanaugh after November midterm elections, asserting, "The American [people] should have a voice", but Republicans have said they are hoping Kavanaugh will be appointed before that. A source familiar with the process said Trump has made his choice. Hardiman was said to be the runner-up to succeed Antonin Scalia, the seat Neil Gorsuch eventually occupied after being confirmed in 2017.

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The Senate then debates the nomination, and by a majority vote (51 votes), it can confirm the nomination.

Kavanaugh is a former clerk to Anthony Kennedy, and was the principle author of the Ken Starr report on Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky. Given Trump's known habit of leaning on family ties and valuing loyalty above all, that could be decisive. But with only 49 votes in the Senate, Democrats have few tools to work with. Jon Kyl would guide President Trump's nominee through the grueling Senate process. "He thinks Kethledge would be easy to confirm because Kethledge is not a consistent conservative". "And I expect we will do that on sort of a normal timetable, a couple of months". Both support a woman's right to have an abortion and will be looking for assurances that the nominee would not overturn the Roe v Wade decision establishing abortion rights.

Current justices range in age from Elena Kagan, 58, to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85. Issuing the invitations makes the lawmakers choose between humoring voters who think they should be bipartisan and others who feel they shouldn't condone Trump's pick. The New York Times first reported McConnell's call with Trump. This may also not be Trump's last opportunity to appoint to the highest court in the United States: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is 85, and Justice Stephen Breyer turns 80 in August.

As of Sunday, Trump said he had yet to make a decision on who to nominate. Additionally, campaigns by Paul Rand denouncing Kavanaugh may also make it hard to rally Republican support behind Trump's nominee.

Kavanaugh has a deep history in conservative politics, having served as a senior White House official under Republican former US President George W. Bush before Bush picked nominated him to the appeals court in 2003. But I'm very close to making a decision.