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Sen. Hatch doesn't think Barrett will be SC pick

Sen. Hatch doesn't think Barrett will be SC pick

After a weekend deliberating with aides and calling allies for advice, he tweeted, "I have long heard that the most important decision a U.S. President can make is the selection of a Supreme Court Justice - Will be announced tonight at 9:00 P.M".

Amy Coney Barrett, a Notre Dame law professor who was confirmed to the Chicago-based 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in October, and Raymond Kethledge, another former Kennedy clerk who sits on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, have also emerged as top candidates for the nomination, but the Times reported they were not the focus of Trump's discussions on Monday morning.

Departing his New Jersey golf club on Sunday afternoon, Trump told reporters he was still making up his mind.

Kavanaugh was appointed to D.C. Circuit appeals court in May 2006, after his nomination by President George W. Bush and his confirmation by the Senate.

Kethledge also was a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. All three are Republican targets for the confirmation vote: They all supported Gorsuch and come from Trump-won states where they face re-election this fall.

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.

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Before boarding Air Force One en route to Washington, Trump said he was considering four people and that of those under consideration, "you can't go wrong". But almost all Senate Democrats and many Democratic voters are expected to oppose Trump's nominee. That means President Trump should select anyone but Kethledge or Hardiman. Unlike the current Justices, Hardiman doesn't have an Ivy League law degree - a fact Trump said on the 2016 presidential campaign trail was a positive factor for a potential nominee if he became President.

Former GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire helped shepherd Neil Gorsuch, Trump's pick to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia in 2017, through his successful confirmation process.

Trump past year 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.

A confirmation of Mr. Trump's nominee could give conservatives a reliable, long-term majority on the highest court. Trump insisted he still hadn't locked down his decision, which he wants to keep under wraps until a 9 p.m. Monday announcement from the White House.

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. Hardiman, a one-time cab driver from Waltham, Massachusetts who was the first member of his family to attend college, served alongside Trump's older sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, on the 3rd Circuit.

Barrett was appointed by Trump to the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals previous year. "I don't think my role is a rubber stamp for the President, but it's also not an automatic, knee-jerk no either", Jones said.


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