Friday, 15 February, 2019

These two judges are favorites to win Supreme Court nod

The Supreme Court is seen in Washington. Recent presidents have delighted in dramatically revealing the people they have chosen to sit on the Supreme Court. And they’ve gone to some lengths to keep their ultimat These two judges are favorites to win Supreme Court nod
Melinda Barton | 11 July, 2018, 00:00

While some Democrats promised a stern effort to block the 53-year-old Kavanaugh - who has served 12 years on the most influential US appeals court - Trump's fellow Republicans control the Senate by a narrow margin and can ensure confirmation if they avoid defections from their ranks.

Hardiman, a runner-up when Trump chose Neil Gorsuch as his high court nominee a year ago, received a wave of new attention in the weekend discussions, according to two people briefed on the matter but not authorized to speak publicly about it.

All four of Trump's finalists were culled from a preselected list of 25 judges, curated by White House Counsel Donald McGahn with the help of Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the conservative Federalist Society.

While the president has been pondering his pick, aides have been preparing for a tough confirmation fight. It's not an arm of the White House. The nuclear option was implemented for the first time, and the Senate rules were changed so nominees for cabinet posts and federal judgeships could be confirmed with just 51 votes.

With a slim one-vote majority in the Senate, any GOP defections could prove problematic in winning confirmation for Trump's eventual choice - that is, if Democrats hold together in opposition. He works for Washington-based lobbying firm Covington & Burling.

Officially, the White House hasn't indicated a preferred candidate and isn't expected to give away many clues until the announcement.

The conservative group Judicial Crisis Network said it already has purchased a seven-figure ad-buy to support Trump's nominee, in a spot that warns that "extremists will lie and attack" the choice.

"I've never seen a president of the United States in effect make himself a puppet of outside groups and choose from a group of right-wing fringe ideologues", he said on ABC's "This Week".

The Judicial Crisis Network (JCN), whose leaders pushed Justice Neil Gorsuch over the finish line past year, are getting their war chests ready.

"I was extraordinarily depressed when Justice Kennedy announced his retirement". Hardiman, who lives in Pennsylvania, is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, where he served at one time with Trump's sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry.

Hardiman went to Notre Dame and Georgetown.

But his supporters note his experience and a wide range of legal opinions. Plus, he is a former law clerk to Kennedy, who switched sides quite a bit during his time on the Supreme Court.

The Federalist Society does not take legal or policy positions, and members regularly debate the proper approach to health care policy, taxes and other issues, wrote Jonathan Adler, a society member and law professor at Case Western University, for The Washington Post past year. The president also has been considering federal appeals court Judges Raymond Kethledge and Thomas Hardiman. He co-authored a book with Army veteran Mike Erwin of The Positivity Project published past year called "Lead Yourself First: Inspiring Leadership Through Solitude". "And I think of the four people I have it down to three or two", The Guardian reported. "And that's of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for years in this country", Sen. The president briefed Senate Republicans at the White House Monday evening shortly before making the public announcement.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised a vote on the nomination before the November midterms, ensuring the outcome will be an issue before voters.

ROY BLUNT: They're good judges.

"This is a highly consequential nomination, and it deserves the most careful consideration, so I look forward to meeting with Judge Kavanaugh soon to discuss more in detail his views on the Supreme Court's role in our constitutional democracy", Cotton said in a statement. The same advice I've given to every single president is, think of this not as a political thing, but what is this for the ages? "And I expect we will do that on sort of a normal timetable, a couple of months".