Donald Trump still pondering Supreme Court pick as big reveal nears

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US Judge Brett Kavanaugh looks on as US President Donald Trump announces him as his nominee to the Supreme Court in the East Room of the White House on July 9, 2018 in Washington, DC.

For now, Democrats are piling pressure on Republican Sen. The official said the White House reached out to every member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will hold confirmation hearings, and that only Democrat Kamala Harris "refused to engage".

Without Republican defections, however, Senate rules leave Democrats with scant options to block confirmation of Trump's nominee.

Democrats have sounded the alarm that by shifting the ideological balance of the top court Trump could place women's reproductive rights, health care and LGBT rights at risk, and demonstrators gathered at the Supreme Court Monday night in protest at the nomination. Call it crosshairs. Either way, Indiana U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly is again in it as a Senate confirmation of a new U.S. Supreme Court justice looms.

This time, the Republicans have a simple majority in the Senate (51 votes needed), but in an election year anything can happen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Joe Donnelly of IN, all of whom face tough re-election bids.

An announcement from the White House is scheduled for 9 p.m EST, but Trump told reporters on Sunday that he was still working on narrowing his list, which at that point contained 25 names. He also served in the George W. Bush White House. Plus, he is a former law clerk to Kennedy, who switched sides quite a bit during his time on the Supreme Court.

Trump, meanwhile, said that he does not ask about a nominee's "personal opinions".

"His credentials are impeccable - he has already served with distinction as an Appellate Judge on the prestigious Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia - and he will interpret the Constitution as written rather than legislate from the bench", Braun said. That view has particular relevance as special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign played any role in a foreign interference plot.

Kavanaugh recently voiced disagreement with a court decision allowing an undocumented teenage immigrant to get an abortion. If Barrett is nominated, she could face a hard confirmation process.

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But both senators voted to confirm Gorsuch, who would be expected by conservative activists to vote to return decisions about abortions to the states.

Senator John Kennedy, R-Louisiana, told reporters on Capitol Hill that he wouldn't make any predictions, but he did say that the confirmation fight would "take a lot of oxygen" in the Senate. But almost all Senate Democrats and many Democratic voters are expected to oppose Trump's nominee.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised a vote on the nomination before the November midterms, ensuring the outcome will be an issue before voters. That day, a CNN news crew caught Hardiman at a Pennsylvania gas station, apparently en route to D.C., leading to speculation that he was the choice.

In the coming year the court might have to consider Trump's powers and rights in the investigation into links between his presidential campaign and Russian Federation, and whether he sought to obstruct that probe.

Some of the protesters got on 5th Ave. and laid down on the roadway in front of Trump Tower.

If Collins and Murkowski vote "no" and Democrats all vote "no", the nomination would be blocked.

After about 30 minutes, some of the protesters, including Brooklyn City Councilman Jumaane Williams, were arrested.

Outside adviser Leonard Leo, now on leave from the Federalist Society, said on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that this kind of jockeying is standard, noting that "every potential nominee before announcement gets concerns expressed about them by people who might ultimately support them". "It's about what country the United States of America is going to chart as its course in the future on this Supreme Court".

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