Republicans hold a mere 50-49 Senate majority, with the prolonged absence of the ailing Arizona GOP Sen.
Hardiman, who was runner-up to Neil Gorsuch as the president's Supreme Court pick previous year, made a comeback on Trump's shortlist this weekend in part because of the president's sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, who serves with Hardiman on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
"This is a nightmare for red-state Democrats to oppose a highly qualified nominee, and all four of these people are highly qualified, been on the court, know what they're doing, mainstream judges", Graham said.
Kavanaugh's experience includes assisting Bush in the historic 2000 Florida recount that saw the Texas governor confirmed President of the United States by the Supreme Court over Al Gore in the landmark Bush v. Gore decision.
As a counterweight, a new liberal interest group, Demand Justice, plans to spend as much as $5 million to push the moderate Democrats to hold fast against the nominee, as well as attempt to persuade moderate Republican senators Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska to oppose Kavanaugh.
Conservative Christians have long vied to overturn that decision, and Mr Trump has previously said he wants "pro-life" justices opposed to abortion rights. Though Kennedy is a conservative, he was often a swing vote on big decisions, such as same-sex marriage, abortion and affirmative action.
McConnell has said he hopes to have a justice in place by the opening of the court's new term in October, and it's possible that a voluminous paper trail could add more time to the review - or at least give Democrats a little more traction on efforts to delay the proceedings. This is one reason that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., reportedly tried to nudge POTUS away from naming him.
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The 66-year-old was brought into NY state Supreme Court wearing handcuffs, but he was uncuffed during proceedings. Dozens of women have come forward in recent months to accuse the producer of assaulting or harassing them.
To be successfully confirmed, Kavanaugh needs 51 votes in the Senate.
"Beyond the procedure, beyond the gamesmanship, it is a life-and-death important decision to be made by this court on so many issues", Senator Dick Durbin of IL, the body's No. 2 Democrat, said Sunday on NBC.
Barrett of IN, 46, serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.
"No president has ever consulted more widely, or talked with more people from more backgrounds to seek input abut a Supreme Court nomination". In 2006, President Bush nominated him to the D.C. Court of Appeals. Kavanaugh, with the confidence of the administration and concern from Left and Right alike, heads to the Senate.
Barrett has a thin resume as a judge but has amassed a formidable and respected body of scholarly work. He is an excellent judge-and will make a great Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States-because he is restrained, brilliant, humble, competent and very much committed to the Constitution. All eyes are on the three Senate Democrats who voted for Neil Gorsuch last year - North Dakota's Heidi Heitkamp, Indiana's Joe Donnelly, and West Virginia's Joe Manchin - who all facing reelection this year in states where Trump won by double digits in 2016. Every one, you can't go wrong. I'll be deciding tonight or tomorrow sometime by 12 o'clock, and we're all gonna be meeting at 9 o'clock.
The president has been lobbied in the final hours of his selection process by both supporters and opponents of the four candidates, all of whom are federal appeals court judges with conservative records.