Former Senator Jon Kyl tapped to 'sherpa' Supreme Court nominee

Elias Hubbard
July 11, 2018

"The White House expects to immediately hit the ground running once Trump makes his 9 p.m. announcement on Monday, a time he selected for maximum TV exposure as anticipation grows around the pick", Christopher Cadelago reports for Politico.

The announcement came hours before Trump is due on Monday night to name his pick to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, marking an official start to a massive debate in the Senate on the future of the Supreme Court. He works for the Washington-based lobbying firm Covington & Burling.

Earlier this year he was enlisted by Facebook to help examine whether the social media site had a liberal bias.

Barrett of IN, 46, serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. Senator Patrick Leahy is a longtime member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is hoping to replicate his successful announcement of Justice Neil Gorsuch a year ago.

"Donald Trump could nominate George Washington, John Marshall and they couldn't get through", Graham said in an interview with Fox News Sunday. Plus, he is a former law clerk to Kennedy, who switched sides quite a bit during his time on the Supreme Court.

In this June 1, 2006 file photo, from left to right, President Bush, watches the swearing-in of Brett Kavanaugh as Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia by U.S.

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". Their support for Gorsuch and possibly Kavanaugh could attract moderate GOP voters in what are expected to be tight fall races - but also cost the centrist trio some backing from liberals and progressives opposed to Trump and his judicial nominees.

Democratic Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Doug Jones of Alabama, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Joe Donnelly of IN were invited for the announcement.

Democrats have turned their attention to pressuring two Republicans, Sens. The two have supported access to abortion services.

He called the system Trump is using to pick the nominee - mining from a pre-chosen pool of 25 conservative candidates - "corrupt".

Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett and Thomas Hardiman are widely reported to be on the short list. He financed his law degree at the Georgetown University Law Center by driving a taxi.

"I've spent the last three days interviewing and thinking about Supreme Court justices".

The report also noted that the Supreme Court - which recently affirmed freedom of speech in saying pro-life crisis pregnancy centers can not be forced to promote abortion and freedom of religion in a decision on behalf of Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips in the same-sex marriage fight - now is earning its highest approval ratings in several years.

"I think it's a bit of a scare tactic and rank speculation", Leo said on "This Week" Sunday, saying "nobody really knows" how Trump's nominee would rule on abortion if it ever arose. Barrett is a former clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia. But his supporters cite his experience and wide range of legal opinions. Barrett is popular with social conservatives, but her prospects for being nominated to the post are fading, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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