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How significant is Trump's Supreme Court pick?

10 July 2018

President Donald Trump pointed before boarding Air Force One at Morristown Municipal Airport, in Morristown, N.J., Sunday, en route to Washington from Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.

Is there a Supreme Court sign in these tea leaves? He was a runner-up past year when Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. They see him as too pragmatic and have painted him as the kind of nominee who could betray conservatives.

All of the four states were carried by Mr. Trump in 2016.

Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of SC and Roy Blunt of Missouri said Sunday that they believe any of the top four contenders could get confirmed by the GOP-majority Senate.

The four finalists are said to be federal appeals court judges Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett and Thomas Hardiman.

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White House spokesman Raj Shah says the Arizona Republican "has agreed to serve as the Sherpa for the President's nominee to the Supreme Court".

Hardiman has a personal connection to the president, having served with Trump's sister on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. John McCain, R-Ariz, is absent getting cancer treatment, so Republicans now have just a 50-49 vote hold.

"She has made clear - as she said to the president in person two weeks ago - that she considers fully vetting Supreme Court nominees one of the most important jobs of any US senator, and she plans to fulfill that critical duty", the spokesperson said.

Trump's approach to naming a new Supreme Court justice has unnerved some Democrats.

But both senators voted to confirm Gorsuch, who would be expected by conservative activists to vote to return decisions about abortions to the states. Three Democratic senators who voted for Gorsuch - Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of IN and Joe Manchin of West Virginia - are up for re-election IN states Trump won handily IN 2016. I'm open to voting no. "We don't know who the nominee is going to be yet", Sen.

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But she is also seen as potentially hard to confirm, given the narrowness of the Senate GOP majority, the previous controversy in her confirmation process when she was nominated for the federal bench a year ago, her lack of a deep judicial record of opinions and her openness to overturning Roe v. Wade.

The president has also said previously to reporters that he has narrowed the pool, saying on Thursday "of the four people, I have it down to three or two".

Bob Salera, a campaign spokesman for Senate Republicans, said Casey has "given up any pretense of being a moderate voice" by opposing Trump's nominee sight unseen.

By installing Gorsuch and another, similar candidate on the court, Trump can tell conservative voters that he kept his promises and give them a reason to solidify his electoral coalition.

The appointment will not change the ideological breakdown of a court that already has a 5-4 conservative majority, but nevertheless could move the court to the right. But he had made his final decision, according to a person with knowledge of the president's thinking who was not authorized to speak publicly.

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In an earlier interview on "This Week", Stephanopoulos asked Leonard Leo, who is on leave from the conservative Federalist Society to advise Trump on his Supreme Court pick, about the concern that anyone on Trump's list of potential nominees would oppose Roe v. Wade.

How significant is Trump's Supreme Court pick?