SUPREME SHOWDOWN: Trump Teases 'EXCEPTIONAL' Court Pick

Thai rescue team members walk inside a cave where 12 boys and their soccer coach have been trapped since June 23 in Mae Sai Chiang Rai province northern Thailand. The local
Associated Press Thai rescue team members worked inside a cave where 12 boys and their soccer coach have been trapped since June 23
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10 July, 2018

Although a moderate conservative, Kennedy has always been considered the swing vote on the bench on devisive issues like abortion and LGBTQ rights. The ad is expected to feature an introductory bio on the president's yet-to-be-named Supreme Court nominee.

So who's on the president's shortlist of nominees? Here is a brief look at the four candidates getting the most attention in the media today.

Judge Thomas Hardiman, seen here speaking with The Associated Press in Philadelphia on March 8, 2017. When the court he serves on upheld a New Jersey law requiring a gun owner to obtain a permit to carry a gun in public places and to show that he has "a justifiable need" to carry the gun, Hardiman dissented, chastising the majority for upholding a law that dates to 1966 (and arguably 1924) as insufficiently long-standing.

Current position: Barrett was confirmed by the Senate to a lifetime appointment on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals this past October. Add Donald Trump as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Donald Trump news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

You've signed up to receive emails. He drove a cab to pay his way through school. More recently, she's written that abiding by precedent is "not a hard-and-fast rule" in the Supreme Court's constitutional cases.

"I think that's a red herring", Leo responded.

"The Republicans control the votes in the Senate, but we have the American people on our side", he said.

Trump had been going back and forth between Kavanaugh, the favorite of White House counsel Don McGahn, and Hardiman, whom the president's sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, a former colleague of Hardiman's, has pressed him to choose. Gorsuch, who worked at the Justice Department in 2005 and 2006, had a smaller set of executive branch documents for review.

Democrats see the seat being vacated by Justice Kennedy, a conservative judge who sometimes sided with the court's liberal wing, as critical to maintaining abortion rights and key provisions of former President Barack Obama's healthcare plan. Both Kavanaugh and Kethledge are former law clerks to retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. So he has a very strong track record of smart and conservative jurisprudence.

Relishing the guessing game beyond the White House gates, Trump had little to say about his choice.

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Sarabia: What about his connection to President George W. Bush? Does that play at all into this you think?

On one front he has been clear, however - while he admires Kavanaugh's credentials, he is also concerned by his work in the Bush administration. He essentially controlled the paper flow into the Oval Office. We don't know who this nominee is going to be yet. So do members of his political base. And she recently made it through the confirmation process, with the Senate approving her nomination to be an appeals court judge in October. (C-SPAN via AP, File).

Fix the Court has released financial information on the contenders here.

"Remember, the President ran on the Supreme Court issue and that greatly enthused voters", Leonard Leo, who is now on leave from the Federalist Society, where he helped craft Trump's list of candidates, said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday. He's based out of MI. He also has a deeper judicial record than she does. Kavanaugh had been a law clerk for Kennedy. A self-described introvert, Kethledge co-authored a book, "Lead Yourself First", in which he talks about how some of the world's great leaders learned from solitude and quiet.

Barrett - a longtime Notre Dame Law School professor who became a federal appeals judge last fall - excited social conservatives with her testimony when questioned about her Roman Catholic faith in her nomination hearings past year. She is a well-known conservative whose past comments on abortion drew attention at her Senate confirmation hearing. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) made Barrett a religious-rights cult hero. But Barrett told senators she would not let her staunch Catholic beliefs affect her legal rulings.

Many in the president's base simply do not trust Kavanaugh. Barrett has said she believes life begins at conception. So does that give concern to the right? "He has put a litmus test on the supreme court nominee" over abortion, she said.

What if the Supreme Court had term limits?

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Use the audio player above to hear the full segment.


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