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By keeping Scalia's seat open, McConnell gave Trump a head start in putting his own stamp on the high court, and the president acknowledged as much when Gorsuch was sworn in previous year.

President Donald Trump announced Monday night that Brett Kavanaugh would be his nominee to replaced Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court of the United States.

Kethledge, a former Kennedy law clerk, has sat on the 6th Circuit since 2008 after being nominated by George W. Bush.

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

"First Justice Gorsuch, now Brett Kavanaugh - the President has kept his promise to nominate jurists who will faithfully protect the fundamental freedoms enshrined in our Constitution", the organization's Montana director, David Herbst, said.

Trump made his decision after more last-minute consultations among four finalists, while aides made final plans for a prime time announcement in the East Room at the White House, officials said. He called Kavanaugh "one of the finest and sharpest legal minds of our time".

He is also an enemy of former President Bill Clinton after he investigated his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

University of Minnesota Professor Timothy R. Johnson, who has published books on the Supreme Court, weighed in on the major announcement. "There's no way to sugarcoat it", said Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood executive vice president. It's a similar playbook to one the group followed past year with Judge Neil Gorsuch. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of IN and Heidi Heitkamp North Dakota.

On abortion, Kavanaugh voted in October to delay an abortion for a teenage immigrant who was in government custody.

What are the implications of Kavanaugh's nomination?

He also served in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The process is arduous, with the private meetings giving way to days of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats.

The New York Times on Sunday reported that the president liked Hardiman's backstory: he's the first of his family to graduate from college, and he helped fund his law school education by driving a taxi.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said they will hold a confirmation vote this fall.

Jones' position could be critical to Kavanaugh's confirmation as the Republicans hold only a 51-49 advantage in the Senate.

Kavanaugh is Trump's second high court pick after Justice Neil Gorsuch. "The Senate should quickly confirm President Trump's well-qualified nominee to the Supreme Court".

"His nomination should be a non-starter for every member of the Senate concerned about the integrity of the special counsel's investigation and anxious about the Court undermining the rights of women to make their own medical decisions; civil rights; the rights of Americans to quality, affordable healthcare; voting rights; the rights of workers to organize for better wages and working conditions; and more", Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) said in a statement on Monday.

"Justices and the court as a whole have to wait for cases to come to it, while those cases are percolating in the area of abortion rights, or same-sex marriage rights, or campaign finance", said Johnson. Three Democrats up for re-election in states Trump won by double digits in 2016 - Indiana Sen.

Democrats are certain to press Trump's latest nominee on the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade ruling that legalised abortion nationwide, a decision some conservatives - particularly conservative Christians - have long wanted to overturn.

The President said last week that of the winnowed group of four potential nominees he is now considering, "I have it down to three or two", and he will announce his decision Monday evening. Jennifer Mascott, a law professor at the Antonin Scalia Law School in Virginia, said she naturally reached out to Kavanaugh after her father died.

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