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Trump intends to nominate Judge Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

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US President Donald Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, setting the stage for a bruising confirmation battle.

Trump tweeted early Monday, after a weekend spent weighing his decision at his New Jersey golf club. Luther Strange, cutting the GOP's Senate majority to 51-49. Three Democrats up for re-election in states Trump won by double digits in 2016 - Indiana Sen.

Meanwhile, liberal groups are already calling on two moderate Republican senators - Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska - to reject the nominee. None is older than 53, meaning they could sit on the court for decades, allowing Trump to make a lasting imprint on the nation's laws. I think they'd be fine justices of the Supreme Court.

Joining us here in the studio was Amy Weintraub.

SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: Hey, Rachel.

Before the president has even made his announcement, advocacy groups are making clear they will play an important role in the coming fight. But some conservatives expressed dismay that Kavanaugh did not declare that the teen had no constitutional right to an elective abortion. But a couple of concerns have arisen. Dick Durbin once called the "Forrest Gump of Republican politics", later served as partner at the law firm Kirkland & Ellis in Washington, DC, and served as senior associate counsel, associate counsel, assistant to the president, and staff secretary to former President George W. Bush. Also, just a lot of material for vetters to go through. "A judge must interpret statutes as written", he said. Here's everything you need to know about him! She was a law clerk for Scalia. And Feinstein's question was criticized as anti-Catholic.

Democrats are certain to press Mr Trump's latest nominee on the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade ruling that legalised abortion nationwide. Dianne Feinstein past year during her confirmation hearing to the federal bench.

All four federal judges have the endorsement of major Republican legal groups, most importantly the powerful Federalist Society.

Any of the candidates on Trump's short list would probably move the court to the right. But Thomas Hardiman, who was considered for Neil Gorsuch's seat, is also reportedly still in the running. The White House hopes Kyl's close ties to Senate Republicans will help smooth the path for confirmation. He's been vetted before.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell advised Trump that Kethledge and Hardiman would be easiest to confirm, according to multiple news reports citing administration officials. Gorsuch, Trump's first pick, is 50. "He takes the case before him and looks at the facts and precedents, but without imposing an overarching view of the law", Arthur Hellman, a University of Pittsburgh law professor to the Los Angeles Times.

The executive editor of the Lawfare blog, Susan Hennessey, who is also a Brookings fellow in national security in governance studies, called it "completely freaky that the president has imposed an artificial, TV ratings-driven deadline on such a consequential choice".

"He made a point at the start of my clerkship to invite my parents down for a visit and that made such an impression on my dad", Mascott said. "If he proves as eager an executor of the president's bitter campaign to overturn Roe v. Wade and sabotage Americans' health care as his record suggests, a woman's right to choose will be repealed and the health coverage and economic security of 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will be in grave peril".

"My goal, first and foremost, has always been to find people to serve on the court who believe in the Constitution as it's written, and that's really what drives the conservative legal movement", Leo said.

Trump's aides have prepared briefing books and booked television spots for whomever he picks, anticipating that they'll have little time to spare between his decision and the reveal, sources tell ABC News.

MARTIN: So the announcement is expected tonight, if it's not leaked beforehand, which has been known to happen.

Where previous presidents opted for a secretive process in choosing Supreme Court nominees, Mr. Trump publicly eliminated contenders in recent days and hyped his prime-time television reveal - a spectacle more reminiscent of The Apprentice or The Bachelor than the usual procedure for filling a court seat.

Many in the president's base simply do not trust Kavanaugh. He's going to Brussels for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting in the middle of the week. That likely means meetings with senators. We could see hearings as soon as next month.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that by picking Kavanaugh, Trump is delivering on his pledge to "punish" women for their choices.

MARTIN: All right. NPR's Sarah McCammon for us this morning.

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