The real players are folks like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose late-hour political jockeying upended the notion that the high court spot was D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh's to lose.
The White House noted Kyl served on the Senate Judiciary Committee "during the confirmations of 4 of the last 5 justices who have joined the Supreme Court".
Senate Republicans are pleased that Kyl will be the one to help the nominee navigate the arduous confirmation process. But the process of vetting the nominee will start right away. Kelly Ayotte acted as sherpa for then-nominee Neil Gorsuch ahead of his 54-45 confirmation vote to the Supreme Court in April of a year ago.
"I'll be deciding tonight or tomorrow sometime by 12 o'clock", he said.
On Monday, Trump phoned Justice Kennedy to inform him that his former law clerk would be nominated to fill his seat.
In choosing Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, Trump went with a well-credentialled Washington insider who compiled a long record as a reliable conservative and won the respect of White House lawyers and the outside groups that advise them. The Heritage Foundation is the nation's largest conservative think tank and has provided thousands of policy recommendations and personnel suggestions to multiple presidents and to Congress since 1975. "This is a nightmare for red-state Democrats, to oppose a highly qualified nominee and all four of these people are highly qualified", he added.
Conservatives will focus on moderate Democrats running for re-election in Trump country, such as Indiana's Joe Donnelly, North Dakota's Heidi Heitkamp and West Virginia's Joe Manchin. That decision was reversed by the Supreme Court this year in a landmark ruling.
Barrett has been somewhat dismissive of the notion of following Supreme Court precedents, the doctrine known as stare decisis.
Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein said Trump's choice "could have a bigger effect on Americans' daily lives than any justice in our lifetime".
"She's really outstanding", Hatch said.
Justice Kennedy sometimes sided with the court's liberal justices on divisive social issues.
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. Former President George W. Bush nominated him to the appeals court in 2003. The opinion, written for a three-judge panel, was eventually overturned by the full court.
Casey's main point of contention was the role the "extreme-Right organization" played in shaping Trump's shortlist, which originally was created in 2016 and has since been modified.
Trump is supposedly favoring Kavanaugh because of those views, per CNN.
Barrett spent much of her career as a law professor at the University of Notre Dame and has served as a judge for eight months, which gives her the least experience of any of the potential nominees. "What we need to know is that anyone coming onto the Supreme Court is going to uphold the law of the land and particularly a woman's right to decide what happens to her own body".