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The most leaky White House in modern history managed to keep Trump's secret, though sightings of other shortlisted alternative picks Amy Coney Barrett and Raymond Kethledge at their homes in IN and MI, respectively, earlier in the evening had stolen some of the suspense.

When Justice Anthony Kennedy - a swing vote - announced his retirement last month it became clear that Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that legalised abortion in the USA would soon be under threat.

"As the Senator from West Virginia, I have a constitutional obligation to advise and consent on a nominee to fill Supreme Court vacancies and I take that responsibility seriously". "I am pleased to say that I have found, without doubt, such a person".

Former Sen. Jon Kyl will guide President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee through the Senate confirmation process.

Trump's approach to naming a new Supreme Court justice has unnerved some Democrats.

Republicans occupy 51 Senate seats.

Michael Brune, president of the Sierra Club, an environmental activist group, said Kavanaugh is "an extreme ideologue who has time and again proven himself hostile to common-sense environmental safeguards".

"I'm getting very close to making a final decision".

Republicans hold a razor-thin majority, and given GOP Sen. Ten Democrats from states that Trump won are up for re-election this fall and will be under tremendous pressure to back the president's nominee.

Both endorsed Kavanaugh's candidacy for the high court in a letter addressed to Congressional leaders including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

The Senate must confirm Trump's nominee, who will be backed campaign-style by the White House and conservative legal organizations.

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Trump will announce his decision Monday at 9 p.m.

JCN played an active role in opposing the 2016 candidacy of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court - a nomination that died during the final months of the Obama presidency - and supported the nomination and subsequent confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court past year. Regardless of his choice, it's likely that the closely divided Senate will be holding a momentous confirmation vote just weeks before the midterm election.

Kennedy has always been a swing vote to in favour of abortion rights. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Joe Donnelly of IN, all of whom face tough re-election bids.

"Trump must not nominate a candidate that will threaten people with preexisting conditions, and our senator must not vote to take away the protections we need to stay alive", said Laura Packard, a political consultant with stage 4 cancer, during a news conference in Las Vegas on Monday.

Observers believe if Special Counsel Robert Mueller tries to compel the president to testify in his investigation of the Trump campaign's possible links to Russian Federation, or even bring charges against the president, the issue will go all the way to the Supreme Court, which could return to its 5-4 conservative majority if Kavanaugh is confirmed.

It's common for a major nomination to trigger a paperwork avalanche during the laborious Senate confirmation process, which will see Kavanaugh having one-on-one meetings with influential senators before he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will vote to send his nomination to the Senate floor.

The White House reportedly sent an email to industry stakeholders Monday night, highlighting Kavanaugh's pro-business and anti-regulation record in an attempt to get their help to push through his nomination.

Collins has said she will not support a nominee who has "demonstrated hostility" to the court's decision in Roe, and she has said she generally wants a clear commitment from the nominee to respect court precedent.

Rep. Chellie Pingree (D): "Brett Kavanaugh is a far-right choice to sit on our nation's highest court".

The president "is the producer", said CNN analyst and former Obama aide David Axelrod .

Sen. Susan Collins of ME is one of two Republican senators who support abortion rights and is facing pressure from the left to oppose Kavanaugh.


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