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How to watch the SCOTUS announcement online

10 July 2018

"That's the main reason Christian conservatives voted for President Trump, was on the question of judges". Yet no matter what Kavanaugh says at his confirmation hearings, he is likely to be opposed by most if not all Democrats, just as Justice Neil M. Gorsuch was past year when Trump nominated him to the seat that should have gone to Merrick Garland, former President Obama's nominee to succeed the late Antonin Scalia.

During his remarks, President Trump touted his previous Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch, who replaced the late-Justice Antonin Scalia past year. McConnell said Kavanaugh believes judges should ignore their personal and political views and simply "interpret our laws as they are written".

Republicans are eager for conservatives to gain a firm majority on the court.

The front-runners are conservative federal circuit court judges Amy Coney Barrett, Thomas Hardiman, Brett Kavanaugh, and Raymond Kethledge, according to people who are assisting the president with the nomination process or are familiar with the process.

The confirmation process promises to be a fight, and Republicans have a narrow 51-49 majority - with nearly no room to lose votes as Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona remains absent while fighting brain cancer.

The Center for American Progress Action Fund, which is affiliated with Tanden's group, is among the groups taking part in a rally at the Supreme Court tonight to protest Trump's pick.

"When this power is placed in the wrong hands, our justice system can also take our country backwards, whether it's upholding the Muslim ban, attacking the basic civil rights around the right to vote or weakening our protections for immigrants", she said. Senate Democrats must use everything in their power to keep Trump's risky nominees off the Supreme Court. "I think these are judges who have been vetted, they've received votes, they've received, in many cases, bipartisan support".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Kavanaugh is a "superb" Supreme Court pick and that senators should "put partisanship aside" in considering him. Unlike the current Justices, Hardiman doesn't have an Ivy League law degree - a fact Trump said on the 2016 presidential campaign trail was a positive factor for a potential nominee if he became President.

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President Donald Trump crosses the South Lawn upon arrival at the White House on July 8, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Republicans control the Senate by a 51-49 majority, making any efforts by Democrats to thwart Trump's nominee an uphill battle. But there are red state Senate Democrats who are up for re-election in November like Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Joe Manchin of WV and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.

Kavanaugh's ties to the Bush administration and his lengthy paper trail as well as Barrett's lack of experience - just one year as a judge - were seen as negatives for each. "I would not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade because that would mean to me that their judicial philosophy did not include a respect for established decisions, established law". Trump had a strong favorable reaction to Kethledge, while Barrett was seen as a less likely choice.

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Like the other eight justices on the court, Kavanaugh has an Ivy League law degree, spending his undergraduate and law school years at Yale.

Meanwhile, liberal groups are already calling on two moderate Republican senators - Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska - to reject the nominee. But four Democrats from states Trump won in 2016 voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch past year, leaving the Republicans room for error.

Kavanaugh's record will come under particular scrutiny for clues as to how he might vote in any future review of Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that guaranteed a woman's right to an abortion.

How to watch the SCOTUS announcement online