Donald Trump urged to avoid controversial Supreme Court pick

Former Arizona senator to shepherd Supreme Court nominee through confirmation process

U.S. Court of Appeals Judges Raymond Kethledge, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Thomas Hardiman are all in the running as final candidates.

"Republicans are holding four lottery tickets, and all of them are winners", said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on "Fox News Sunday".

"If you're a conservative Republican, the four people named-particularly Thomas Hardiman, I'm glad he's on the list-are all winners, and every Republican should embrace these picks". Luther Strange, cutting the GOP's Senate majority to 51-49.

The issue even prompted moderate Republican Sen.

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"I've spent the last three days interviewing and thinking about Supreme Court justices".

Hardiman has a personal connection to the president, having served with Trump's sister on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. "So red-state Democrats are going to have a very hard decision".

The source told Reuters that Amy Coney Barrett of IN, a Trump-appointed judge on the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, was still IN contention but that the Republican president had been asking more questions about the other two, who have more extensive judicial records. "They have to put on a show for their base but I suspect, when it's over, we'll be surprised that it was not a fight to the death, just a fight to clawing each other's eyes out". "Totally inconsistent", Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) told NBC's "Meet the Press".

"The president has to think about who is the easiest to get confirmed here", Blunt said.

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As the president deliberated, the conservative Judicial Crisis Network prepared for a seven-figure advertising buy in four states to support the eventual nominee.

Kavanaugh's close ties to the Bush family, stemming from his five years in the White House under President George W. Bush, might not be a positive to Trump, who has sparred with the Bushes. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) told the president over the weekend that Hardiman and Kethledge would face the fewest obstacles to confirmation. Kavanaugh has an extensive paper trail that could potentially enable Democrats to stretch the confirmation beyond the 2018 midterm election.

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer called Trump recently to warn it would be "cataclysmic" for national unity if he nominated someone hostile to Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that protects women's rights to abortion, according to a person familiar with the discussion.

"This is the moment conservative women have been waiting for - the chance to return justice and constitutional limits to the nation's highest court", Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America, said in a statement in June. Whatever she says or doesn't say about Roe v. Wade, she wouldn't be on that list if she wasn't a reliable vote to overturn that nearly half century-old precedent, as NBC's Hallie Jackson pointed out last weekend. Collins has said she would not back someone who has demonstrated hostility to Roe v Wade.

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From a reported list of 25 Supreme Court candidates, Trump said he has narrowed his choices.

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