Trump says he has narrowed list of candidates for Supreme Court seat

White House Counsel Don Mc Gahn speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference at National Harbor Maryland U.S

Trump called Schumer on Tuesday afternoon for a Supreme Court-centered conversation that lasted less than five minutes, according to a person familiar with the call.

Trump told reporters Thursday that he had his short list down to between two and four candidates.

Kavanaugh and Kethledge are seen as favorites, if only because Trump is asking more questions about them, sources said.

"There are certainly reasons why the president might prefer Barrett over perhaps the others".

The president's top contenders include federal appeals court judges Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Raymond Kethledge, with federal appeals court judge Thomas Hardiman still considered in the mix.

Trump said he was honored that Kennedy chose to retire during his term. Trump's pick would be a nod to Kennedy's legacy. Both are in their early 50s and potentially could serve decades in the lifetime post on the nine-member court.

Less than an hour later, Fox News reporter John Roberts tweeted that the White House is preparing four "rollout packages" for Trump's nomination announcement.

Barrett, a former law clerk for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, won Senate conformation October 31 on 55-43 vote. The president then traveled by helicopter to Bedminster. The appointment of either judge would broaden that gap to 10 years.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., showed how this larger point can be made in his initial response to Kennedy's retirement. Therefore, her track record is critical to how she will likely conduct herself as a Supreme Court justice.

In her dissenting opinion, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, focused more on emotion than law, and read into the case Trump's anti-Muslim campaign pledge to impose "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States".

"If Trump wants to pay back the people who elected him in 2016, putting a midwesterner on the highest bench is one way to do it", HotAir.com says. The president described the potential picks as "outstanding".

She said the groups were "calling for a higher standard". His grandfather invented an acoustically guided torpedo that sunk dozens of Nazi U-boats during World War II. Kethledge, a Michigan Law graduate, would add academic diversity to a court steeped in the Ivy League. He was confirmed in June 2008 and received commission in July 2008.

In one notable case, he ruled in favor of a conservative Tea Party group that had sued the IRS over alleged mistreatment during the Obama administration. "It's a good problem to have for the president because the reported finalists are committed to the Constitution". He likes to work in a converted barn office overlooking Lake Huron, with a wood stove and no Internet, when he writes opinions.

He also co-authored a book on leadership and solitude, Lead Yourself First.

Some conservatives, though, question his bona fides, and he's controversial with Democrats because of his role investigating former President Bill Clinton as part of the Starr investigation. Before that, he worked in the White House as a counsel and staff secretary during the George W. Bush administration. The nomination was stalled for three years.

Kavanaugh, 53, enjoys the backing of conservative legal and political activists who have fought previous confirmation battles in the Senate. Before that, she was a law professor at the University of Notre Dame. Liberals had a miserable time using their exhausted playbook of attacks against Barrett's last confirmation because she has a compelling and compassionate life story. The U.S. Senate confirmed her appointment in October and she received commission on November 2, 2017. Supporters are "fired up" over the vacancy, she says. She and her husband have seven children, one with special needs.

Like to Kethledge and Kavanaugh, Barret is a textualist.

It would also be the second time in two years for Trump to make a Supreme Court pick.

The president nominated a total of 143 judges to date.

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