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Another contender Judge Raymond Kethlidge made headlines blasting the IRS over its treatment of tea party groups.

Hardiman has a personal connection to the president, having served with Trump's sister on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.

"Justice Kavanaugh has the most experience but Justice Hardiman is the one that will get through the Senate more easily and he would bring better legal mind to the United States or in court than all four", Valentino told News10NBC. But there's one qualification that could prove a problem for the judge: his ties to the Bush family have reportedly raised Trump's suspicions.

In remarks on ABC News' "This Week", Leonard Leo, who's on leave from the Federalist Society to aid Trump in selecting his replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, said "nobody really knows" about the fate of Roe v. Wade. Democratic Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama faces reelection in 2020.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said opponents were using "40-year-old scare tactics" over abortion and other issues but they "will not stop us from doing the right thing".

Kavanaugh, 53, is a former Kennedy law clerk who was appointed to the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals by former President George W. Bush after serving five years in the White House counsel's office during the Bush administration.

There are no set dates for when the confirmation hearings will begin.

But both senators voted to confirm Gorsuch, who would be expected by conservative activists to vote to return decisions about abortions to the states.

Democrats have little leverage as they try to halt the nomination - though the court's rightward lurch could stoke liberal turnout in the midterm elections in which the House of Representatives is in play.

For now, Democrats are piling pressure on Republican Sen. "Maybe a handful of Democrats will vote for a Trump pick because they have to politically".

Responding on "Outnumbered", Lisa Boothe said Blumenthal represents a blue state and will be fiercely opposed to whomever Trump chooses.

"I'm open to voting yes".

Later in the week, the president also suggested that of the four reported shortlisted candidates, he had preferences, telling reporters: "I think I have it down to four people".

Leo said Hardiman of Pennsylvania and Kethledge of MI are "a little bit less known by conservatives".

Recent developments underline the shrewdness of Trump's campaign team, which published a list of potential court nominees with stellar conservative credentials before he faced off against Hillary Clinton. Gorsuch restored the court's conservative majority.

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


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