My Responsibility In Selecting A Supreme Court Justice

US President Donald Trump confers with the media upon arrival at Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown New Jersey

Trump has called the Supreme Court pick "the most important decision a USA president can make", and advocates say that nominating a conservative justice to replace Kennedy could overturn long-standing decisions such as Roe v. Wade.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) insisted Sunday on NBC News' "Meet the Press" that delaying Trump's nominee as a Democratic bloc is even more important than the reelection hopes of vulnerable red-state senators struggling to retain their seats by supporting the nominee.

The White House has assembled a team to handle communications, strategy and messaging coordination to defend and push the nomination through on Capitol Hill.

The president has also spoken with confidence about how his Supreme Court pick will work out.

Outside adviser Leonard Leo, now on leave from the Federalist Society, said on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that this kind of jockeying is standard, noting that "every potential nominee before announcement gets concerns expressed about them by people who might ultimately support them". She rocketed to the top of Trump's earlier list of 25 Supreme Court candidates after her performance during her confirmation hearing last fall, when Democrats cited her deep Catholic faith as a potential problem.

Kavanaugh's 12 years as an appellate judge, combined with his Yale pedigree, Supreme Court clerkship under Kennedy and top posts in the Bush administration, give him a resume his predecessors can't match.

His wife, Lori Zappala Hardiman, "comes from a family of prominent western Pennsylvania Democrats", a report from a local Philadelphia TV station noted.

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

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Barrett, who is 46, has less of a judicial record to review, having just been nominated to the appeals court by Trump a year ago. It's about what [direction] the United States of America is going to chart as its course in the future on this Supreme Court. Susan Collins said she wouldn't support a nominee hostile to the court's precedent in Roe v. Wade - and the conservative Barrett has expressed a willingness to reverse precedent she sees as wrongly decided.

Senator Dianne Feinstein said Trump's choice "could have a bigger effect on Americans' daily lives than any justice in our lifetime".

Kavanaugh, a former clerk for retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, is the leading contender for the SCOTUS position.

Casey supported Hardiman's appointment to the Third Circuit in 2007, saying he was well qualified to serve on that court.

Conservative Christians have long vied to overturn that decision, and Mr Trump has previously said he wants "pro-life" justices opposed to abortion rights.

Kavanaugh, 53, has served on the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 2006. He also worked on independent counsel Ken Starr's investigation of President Bill Clinton. Judge Amy Coney Barrett is the favored nominee among the religious right. Luther Strange, cutting the GOP's Senate majority to 51-49.

MARTIN: Who on the president's list is considered to face the toughest confirmation battle? "I don't think my role is to rubber-stamp for the president, but it's also not an automatic knee-jerk no, either". "What we need to know is that anyone coming onto the Supreme Court is going to uphold the law of the land and particularly a woman's right to decide what happens to her own body".

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