by Daveda Gruber:
The interview process for Supreme Court candidates had been completed by President Trump. Six judges were spoken to by Trump.
The process is going quickly after an expected announcement on Monday.
Trump is sprinting ahead with a pending decision to fill the seat of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Trump could potentially move the court more steadily to the right.
Liberal advocacy groups and others are gearing up for a major confirmation fight.
Trump has interviewed six candidates. They are appeals court judges Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett, Amul Thapar, Joan Larsen and Thomas Hardiman.
While the interviews have been comprised of seven conversations, Trump talked to one candidate twice.
Multiple sources have indicated that Kavanaugh, Kethledge and Barrett are currently the focus of attention.
Trump had a phone call with Utah GOP Sen. Mike Lee. The call was not considered a formal interview and was more to ask Lee his thoughts on who would make a good nominee.
Lee is on the president’s broader list of 25 potential candidates he has vowed to choose from, he is not under consideration to replace Kennedy.
Intense pressure campaigns are being waged on the sidelines, by conservative and liberal interests alike.
Democrat aligned groups are pressuring potential swing senators. Moderate Republicans like Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and Maine’s Susan Collins are being hounded to oppose Trump’s eventual nominee. The main concern for the arguing is in part that landmark decisions like abortion-legalizing Roe v. Wade could be at risk.
Conservative groups are not to be outdone. They have sought to sway the president’s decision making. This includes a whisper campaign against Kavanaugh over everything from his ties to the George W. Bush administration to a past ObamaCare ruling. Some critics have claimed that the 2011 case helped pave the way for the law’s individual mandate to be upheld by the Supreme Court. Others say the criticism is unfounded while Kavanaugh actually spoke out against the mandate.
Kavanaugh is remaining very much in the running. Kethledge’s stock is said to be rising.
Some conservatives have compared to Kethledge as a potential justice in the mold of Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch was Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee last year.
Kethledge, Kavanaugh and Gorsuch once served Kennedy as law clerks. Kethledge is a Michigan Law graduate. He might add academic diversity to a court steeped in the Ivy League.
Trump prepares to name the second high court pick of his presidency. Speculation has focused on Barrett. He’s a former law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia and a longtime Notre Dame Law School professor who serves on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Conservative groups rallied around Barrett after her confirmation hearing last year. That featured questioning from Democrats over how her Roman Catholic faith would affect her decisions.
Does faith reflect on how law is interpreted?
The law of the land has to be interpreted as what it was meant to be. This should prove to be an interesting choice for our president to make. He hasn’t disappointed us yet.