Trump focused on Kavanaugh, Kethledge for Supreme Court

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"They're all very conservative", Hasen said of federal judges Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge, and Amy Coney Barrett, whose names are most often cited as being at the top of the president's list to fill the seat being vacated by Justice Anthony Kennedy. Mr. Pence hasn't met with any of the other candidates, according to a White House official.

On Sunday, Collins said she met with Trump and told him she was looking for a nominee who would demonstrate a respect for precedent, and urged him to look for nominees beyond the 25 people picked by the Federalist Society.

Graham said the nomination will be a "nightmare for red-state Democrats", who risk angering their constituency if they join other Democrats' opposition to Trump's pick.

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Gov. Paul LePage said Thursday that he doesn't believe a nominee's position on Roe v. Wade should be a factor for senators voting for supreme court nominees, contradicting a statement from Republican U.S. Sen.

In January, Interim State Senate President Harriette Chandler (D-Worcester) introduced the Negating Archaic Statutes Targeting Young Women bill -aka "NASTY Women" - to prevent MA laws such as an outright ban on abortion from being reinforced should the Supreme Court ruling Roe be overturned.

"They're all political, so let's just find a person that we can all agree with and put him on there", LePage said.

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Judging from the comments of TV pundits and news reporters, the betting seems strong that Trump will wind up choosing Judge Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge who sits on the District of Columbia circuit. The source said he would not be surprised if Trump firmed up his choice before leaving for a trip to Montana later on Thursday.

Cuccinelli's remark was a wry reference to another contender, Coney Barrett, whom social conservatives unsure about Kavanaugh have rallied behind this week. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, another GOP moderate. Additionally, three Democrats - including Donnelly and Manchin - supported Barrett when Trump nominated her to the bench previous year. "We're more focused on making sure that we have judges that look at the facts of the case and apply the law".

Kethledge's sudden ascent in the process is widely seen in the West Wing as a outcome of what conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh has called the "whisper campaign" against Kavanaugh, with the president newly intrigued by the University of Michigan Law School graduate. "There's nobody that President Trump could nominate from a conservative bent that will get many Democratic votes".

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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. The announcement is likely to set off a major confirmation battle in the Senate, where Republicans hold a narrow majority and where opposition Democrats are planning to wage a fight over Trump's court pick.