Trump has decided his court nominee; big reveal tonight

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The official spoke on condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions.

We're told the four finalists are federal appeals court judges Thomas Hardiman, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Raymond Kethledge.

"I'm very close to making a final decision".

Republicans and Democrats are at odds over Kavanaugh and with the Senate closely divided, his path to confirmation is treacherous.

The pollster said the result is comparable to attitudes in February 2016 following the sudden death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

MARTIN: Who on the president's list is considered to face the toughest confirmation battle?

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer called Trump recently to warn it would be "cataclysmic" for national unity if he nominated someone hostile to Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that protects women's rights to abortion, according to a person familiar with the discussion.

Last year, I was proud to appoint Justice Kennedy's former law clerk, Neil Gorsuch, to the Supreme Court. "We unite in our common belief that Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh is a good man, a brilliant jurist, and is eminently qualified to serve as an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court". The messaging initially centered on the future of abortion rights in the USA under a court with Kavanaugh on it.

"For those who care about abortion rights, for those who want to see abortion rights, constitutional abortion rights preserved, I think there is some reason to be concerned about Judge Kavanaugh", he said.

By keeping Scalia's seat open, McConnell gave Trump a head start in putting his own stamp on the high court, and the president acknowledged as much when Gorsuch was sworn in a year ago.

"Bob Casey was for Judge Hardiman before he was against him, showing yet again that Casey will oppose anything President Trump does, even if it means contradicting himself", Barletta said in a statement.

Since Kennedy declared his retirement almost two weeks ago, conservative groups have been gearing up for a battle of a lifetime as Democrats vow to do everything possible to block President Trump's choice. He helped finance his law degree at the Georgetown University Law Center by driving a taxi. The full Senate must approve Kavanaugh's nomination before he can replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his retirement at the end of June.

Kethledge serves as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati. But his supporters have cited his experience and wide range of legal opinions.

The anxiety over defections speaks to the narrowness of the Republican's majority in the Senate. "A judge must interpret statutes as written".

"I'm not going to read out private conversations that Justice Kennedy had with either members of the White House or the president", Shah said. "It is going to represent a really significant ideological and political shift, and it's going to have, I think, a seismic impact on the rule of law".

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 a year ago.

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