President Donald Trump is expected to finalize his choice for the Supreme Court by Thursday or Friday, two people familiar with the search say, allowing aides in a newly-minted White House war room to spend the weekend preparing for a summer confirmation fight. He did not detail with whom Trump had spoken Tuesday or say how many potential nominees Trump has now interviewed.
Trump has said he'll announce his pick July 9 and will chose from a list of 25 candidates. There's one name on the list who is garnering particular attention, however - someone who is reportedly one of four finalists who have already met with Mr Trump in the White House.
The future orientation of the Supreme Court depends on who will succeed Kennedy, a conservative.
An alumnus of Boston College and the University of California, Berkeley, law school, Thapar was nominated by Trump to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.
That shift will make it more hard than it might once have been for Democrats to try to derail Trump's next nominee. He said Democrats tend to operate in issue silos, with people organizing around reproductive rights or issues related to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender peoples' rights. Prior to his exit, the Republican appointees on the court delivered several key conservative rulings, including a decision to uphold Trump's travel order.
Trump has said he is focusing on up to seven potential candidates, including two women, to fill the vacancy being left by Kennedy, a swing vote on the nine-member court.
They were angry that, after declining to convene a vote on President Barack Obama's nominee for the court, the Republican Senate majority leader now is set to confirm the second justice nominated by President Trump. The Senate confirmed Gorsuch after a fierce battle.
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Paramedics were called on Saturday morning after the woman collapsed and returned later in the day when the man also fell ill. Police did not name the couple, but friends have identified the man as Charlie Rowley and the woman as Dawn Sturgess.
The task is further complicated by the status of Republican Senator John McCain, a war hero and former Republican presidential nominee. He has targeted them for defeat in November's midterm elections.
McGahn will lead the overall selection and confirmation process, the White House said Monday, repeating the role he played in the successful confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch a year ago. That, of course, would require the reversal of Roe v. Wade.
What the president's travel order does is allow travel to the USA from Muslim countries (Saudi Arabia, Egypt and United Arab Emirates) that had sent terrorist assassins to the United States and where he had business interests, but ban travel from Muslim countries that had not sent terrorists and where he had no commercial ties.
Kennedy served on the Supreme Court bench for 30 years and was appointed to the position by President Ronald Reagan.
Amul Thapar would have the most narrow path to winning a Supreme Court confirmation: Not a single Democrat voted to confirm him in May 2017 to the Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.
She added that there were people on Trump's initial list that she could not support.
Former US Senator Jim DeMint (R) of SC said of Lee, "He has exactly the brilliance, the background and temperament that President Trump should be looking for".