Brett Kavanaugh, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, is the leading frontrunner, said a recent New York Times article. Trump has been interviewing candidates drawn from a 25-person list created by the Federalist Society, an organization of conservative and libertarian-leaning lawyers.
According to Roberts, the shortlist of main contenders has narrowed to Kavanaugh, Kethledge and Barrett, with Kethledge's stock "rising" in the past few days. Sen. Welch said a woman's legal right to abortion is on the line if any of President's Trump's Supreme Court candidates are confirmed.
Roberts said he'd rank Kavanaugh at the top right now, with Kethledge second and Barrett third. Both Kavanaugh and Kethledge are former Supreme Court clerks for Kennedy.
Trump is expected to make his announcement Monday.
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"Beyond the qualifications, what really matters is, does this nominee fit a central casting image for a Supreme Court nominee, as well as his or her spouse", a Republican close to the White House told Politico.
Former US Senator Jim DeMint (R) of SC said of Lee, "He has exactly the brilliance, the background and temperament that President Trump should be looking for". Prior to her tenure on the court, Larsen served as an associate justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, beginning in 2015.
According to the source, the White House either Tuesday or Wednesday plans to take the nominee for his or her first visit to the Capitol for a sit-down with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary chairman Sen.
Last week, Senator Ted Cruz, another Republican conservative, said he had urged Trump to consider nominating Lee, telling the "Michael Berry Show", a radio program, that Lee "would be a justice you could trust to always be faithful to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights".
The three leading candidates were all on a list of 25 names released by the president previous year.
The same official said that many of Trump's big presidential choices come down to his personal feelings, and that his decision-making process won't be "an analysis of Pennsylvania politics".
Mr. Trump's choice to replace Kennedy - a swing vote on the nine-member court - has the potential to remake the court for a generation as part of precedent-shattering decisions on abortion, health care, gay marriage and other issues.
"Her clarity and intellectual strength in the Senate hearings for her current judgeship showed an intellect and a depth of thought that would be powerful on the Supreme Court", Gingrich wrote.
Trump said during his campaign that he will nominate staunchly pro-life judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade and make abortion a state-level issue.
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Under close scrutiny during his first sit-down with a leader he praised during the elections, Trump will revisit the topic again. For his part, Trump has left open the question of changing the US position on Crimea.