Trump says he's close to making final Supreme Court decision

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Justice Kennedy, 81, recently announced his retirement from the US Supreme Court.

He crafted Trump's short list of potential Supreme Court nominees. Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, who will likely seal his sport to run against McCaskill after an August Republican primary, called the SCOTUS nominee "the defining issue of this campaign". Kethledge, 51, is a judge for the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, while Hardiman, 52, serves on the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Kavanaugh and Kethledge are both former clerks for Kennedy, while Coney Barret is a University of Notre Dame Law School professor.

Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of SC and Roy Blunt of Missouri said Sunday that they believe any of the top four contenders could get confirmed by the GOP-majority Senate.

While final nominees will be known only when Trump makes the announcement, this would be for the second time that Thapar might not be able to make the final cut after being interviewed by Trump.

Leo has the powerful track record of helping to pick and confirm three of the court's conservative justices, John Roberts, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch.

Before boarding Air Force One en route to Washington, Trump said he was considering four people and that of those under consideration, "you can't go wrong".

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Trump, who spent the weekend at his New Jersey golf club, has not yet communicated a final choice, said a person familiar with his thinking who was not authorized to speak publicly.

"I've never seen a president of the United States in effect make himself a puppet of outside groups and choose from a group of right-wing fringe ideologues that are prepared on this list", the CT lawmaker said on ABC just moments after Leo's interview.

"We're going to do it at 9 pm in the White House", he said.

Judge Raymond Kethledge of MI, who serves on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, is seen in this 2017 photo released by Bloomsbury Publishing Inc.in New York, New York, U.S., July 6, 2018. I do think the president has to think about who is the easiest to get confirmed here. Those are very terrific people.

"It is extraordinary", Blumenthal said. On Sunday there was no indication that he had yet made his decision, as speculation continued to swirl around the appointment. We'll announce it on Monday.

Leading Republican US senators also toured Sunday TV studios predicting that their party would stand united over the confirmation process, and warning Democratic senators from conservative "red" states won by Trump in 2016 that if they opposed the nomination they would have to answer to voters at the midterm elections in November.

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