Collins must scrutinize, ask hard questions of Supreme Court nominee

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President Trump has reportedly narrowed his short list of potential Supreme Court nominees to just three people this week; setting the stage for his historic announcement that could come as early as Monday.

The shortlist is widely rumored to include U.S. Appeals Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett of IN; U.S. Appeals Court Judge Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania; U.S. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh of Maryland, who formerly clerked for Kennedy; U.S. Circuit Judge Raymond Kethledge of MI; and U.S. Appeals Court Judge Amul Thapar of Kentucky, according to the Washington Post.

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".

In his search to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, President Trump has been conducting rounds of interviews.

Kennedy, who has served on the Supreme Court since 1988, has always been recognized as the institution's lone swing vote preventing either the conservative or liberal factions from becoming ascendant. "Mike Lee. I think he would be extraordinary".

Tapping into Trump's understanding of the importance of the choice, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told the president this week that nominating someone hostile to abortion access, or the 2010 health care law, would tarnish his legacy.

The senator's office confirmed that he spoke with President Trump on Monday - and while the White House made reference to the call, further details weren't disclosed by the administration.

"Trump's list is full of great nominees, but Kavanaugh raises several concerns among libertarian and pro-life activists at a time when we need to be united", said Wesley Denton, communications director for the Conservative Partnership Institute, an organization that works closely with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. There were the four interviews Monday, as well as a conversation with Republican Sen.

Cruz said Lee would be a "sure thing".

Despite these famous precedents, NBC News reported that Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Raymond Kethledge - all of them judges - are on the president's shortlist for the nomination.

Larsen is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, where she has been serving since November 2017. He also pointed to former justices William Brennan, John Paul Stevens and Harry Blackmun, the latter of whom wrote the Roe v. Wade decision that established a woman's right to abortion.

And many Democrats remain salty over the Republican majority refusing to give Judge Garland, who sits on the circuit court in the District of Columbia, a hearing or a vote ahead of the 2016 election. "But, look, he's been very clear what he wants".