Vice President Pence called Cruz to talk about Trump's Supreme Court options

"Mike Lee. I think he would be extraordinary".

With customary fanfare, Trump plans to announce his selection Monday night.

Where Lee ranks among the contenders isn't known, but he's likely not at the top of the list.

Good bet: Coney Barrett's bio-a young mother of seven, a person of faith, and a former clerk of Antonin Scalia who is "reliably conservative"-surely entices the president, writes Chris Cillizza at CNN. He has been accused of being a "mainstream" or "establishment" Republican, as if this makes him an unreliable conservative". Rand Paul of Kentucky, have raised concerns about Kavanaugh, warning he could disappoint Republicans if his past decisions are a guide. Susan Collins, R-Maine and Sen.

He and Brown both cited Republicans' narrow failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act as hope that the U.S. Senate can block the Trump administration's judicial nominee. The Senate confirmed him in May 2006. Any GOP defections could begin to doom a nominee. Merkley also said many people feel it's inappropriate for Trump to fill the vacancy while the special counsel's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election continues, or during an election year. Knorr praised President Trump for keeping his promises to the pro-life movement, but the ACLU Illinois said a Supreme Court pick should not be about political promises and personal agendas.

Working closely with a White House team and consulting with lawmakers and outside advisers, President Trump has spent the week deliberating on the choice.

Collins' office did not immediately respond to questions from the Bangor Daily News, but she has been a target of progressive groups in the fight over Kennedy's replacement over the past week.

The meetings took place in recent days, according to a person familiar with the search process.

Mr. Trump has said he'll choose his nominee from a list of 25 candidates vetted by conservative groups.

The president spoke by phone with Republican Sen. There were the four interviews Monday, as well as a conversation with Republican Sen. That call was not characterized by the White House as an interview and Lee is not viewed as a top prospect, though he has some support on Capitol Hill.

"President Trump and conservatives can be sure that Lee won't change". He has yet to rule directly on abortion rights.

Kethledge's sudden ascent in the process is widely seen in the West Wing as a effect 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.

Among the three, Trump now favors Kavanaugh and Kethledge over Barrett, according to the people.

The nomination of Kethledge or his colleague Judge Joan Larsen puts Michigan Sen.

The other judge in serious contention, the Seventh Circuit's Amy Coney Barrett, is a favorite of social conservatives, but according to a person close to the president, Trump thinks Kavanaugh has served long enough as a judge to give a sense of his position on issues.

She was confirmed 55 to 43 by the Senate, and three Democrats voted for her - Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Tim Kaine of Virginia and Joe Donnelly of Indiana.

And while Trump is set to announce his pick on Monday, officials say they wouldn't be surprised if he jumped the gun early and announced his decision before the week's end. Recognizing the stakes, many Democrats have lined up in opposition to any Trump pick.

  • Joey Payne