Democrats must fight Trump's supreme court pick tooth and nail

The Supreme Court in October 2015

The Supreme Court in October 2015

Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota - met with Trump to talk about the Supreme Court vacancy.

Pro-life activists are particularly enamored with U.S. Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett, while the head of the American Conservative Union prefers Judge Brett Kavanaugh, another appeals court jurist.

Liberal groups prepping for battle over the Supreme Court vacancy say senators who back abortion rights can't settle for statements that the nominee will respect legal precedent. A Republican appointee, he has held the key vote on such high-profile issues as abortion, affirmative action, gay rights, guns, campaign finance and voting rights. The president said he would meet with Vice President Mike Pence over the weekend and then announce his choice at the White House at 9 p.m. on Monday, July 9. He conducted interviews Monday and Tuesday.

Collins' office did not immediately respond to questions from the Bangor Daily News, but she has been a target of progressive groups in the fight over Kennedy's replacement over the past week.

Conservatives want Trump to pick a more solid conservative for Kennedy's seat, a justice in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia, whose sudden death in early 2016 rocked the Supreme Court.

Others close to Trump said a variety of factors was on the president's radar beyond the candidates' interpretation of the law, such as their educational profiles, personal backgrounds and rapport with him in interviews - leaving most Trump allies wary of making predictions.

Scott Pruitt resigns as head of EPA
According to The Washington Post , Pruitt pushed to find his wife a well-paying job with a politically connected group. During his tenure Pruitt oversaw the largest regulatory rollback in EPA history.

With the announcement scheduled for Monday, there are three finalists to replace Justice Kennedy on the United States Supreme Court and President Donald Trump has narrowed the field down from 30 to three.

The president made unexpected remarks on the ruling during a luncheon with lawmakers that was initially supposed to be closed to press. All in all, Kethledge appears to be the same kind of conventional conservative that the other people on the President's list.

In his op-ed, Cruz said most presidents are forced to gamble on a Supreme Court nominee that they do not truly know, someone who has spent a lifetime outside the public eye and who might bend to pressure in Washington once on the high court. Once confirmed, Trump's pick would restore a 5-4 conservative majority to the nation's top court. Kethledge, a Michigan Law graduate, would add academic diversity to a court steeped in the Ivy League. John McCain may not be able to vote because of health issues, so confirming the nominee would require every other Republican senator's support unless a Democrat crosses party lines. All three were nominated by Republican presidents. Barrett, who is a devout Catholic, is popular among social conservatives but is said not to be atop Trump's shortlist because of her relative inexperience on the bench.

On Wednesday, Sen. Susan Collins, a moderate Republican from ME, reiterated that she could not vote for a nominee with a "demonstrated hostility" to Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that established a woman's right to an abortion.

Conservative groups rallied around Barrett after her confirmation hearing a year ago featured questioning from Democrats over how her Roman Catholic faith would affect her decisions.

On CNN's "State of the Union", Maine's senior senator said she would support nominees who consider Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision that overturned laws criminalizing or restricting access to abortion, a settled matter.

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