Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) refuses to support President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee no matter who it is simply because the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank had a major influence in shaping the chief executive's list of potential selections.
This will be the second time he has been able to choose a justice in the past 18 months.
While the president has been pondering his choice, his aides have been preparing for what is expected to be a tough confirmation fight.
Judge Thomas Hardiman is a USA appeals court judge that The Washington Post reports is a "Second Amendment extremist". He also recognized Justice Antonin Scalia's wife Maureen, and Edwin Meese, President Reagan's attorney general, who was also in attendance. CBS News reported that Judge Thomas Hardiman, who was the runner-up to Neil Gorsuch, was also a finalist.
In the late 1990s, Kavanaugh played a lead role in the aggressive investigation of President Bill Clinton led by independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr. Without Republican defections, however, Senate rules leave Democrats with scant options to block confirmation of Trump's nominee.
Trump announced his pick fewer than two weeks after Kennedy said he would end his 30-year career on the bench. Dianne Feinstein told Barrett, a Catholic, that "the dogma lives loudly within you", suggesting her faith would influence her judicial decisions, a statement that was roundly criticized.
Trump's short list continued to vacillate in the hours leading up to tonight's prime-time finale, where his choice to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy will be revealed.
The Republican caucus has a 51-49 advantage in the Senate, but one key member, Sen.More news: The secret meaning of Meghan Markle's olive green royal christening outfit
More news: Coach explains Joe Root drop decision as India ODI Series looms
More news: Weinstein Pleads Not Guilty To New Charges, Released On Bail
Democrats have sounded the alarm that by shifting the ideological balance of the top court Trump could place women's reproductive rights, health care and LGBT rights at risk, and demonstrators gathered at the Supreme Court Monday night in protest at the nomination.
Barrett - a longtime Notre Dame Law School professor who became a federal appeals judge last fall - excited social conservatives with her testimony when questioned about her Roman Catholic faith in her nomination hearings a year ago. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also received a heads-up from the president. Since 2006, he has been a judge on the federal appeals court in Washington.
Trump's decision stands to be among the most consequential of his presidency as he seeks to shape the high court to his conservative leanings for decades to come.
As a result, Trump found more than twice as many judicial vacancies waiting for him when he entered the White House as Obama did.
Continuing from the podium Monday evening, Kavanaugh said that he was "deeply honored" to be nominated to serve as Kennedy's replacement - Kavanaugh served as a clerk for Kennedy in the past.
Kyl will be guiding the nominee on Capitol Hill and introducing them to Senators as part of his duties, but Trump has not yet indicated who he will ultimately pick. "I hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will thoughtfully and thoroughly review this individual during the confirmation process and carefully consider him rather than making a knee-jerk decision based on politics and nothing else".
Indeed, the pressure will be on Donnelly and other red state Democrats to perhaps buck their party's wishes and confirm Trump's nominee. Now, however, FRC head Tony Perkins seems somewhat less enthusiastic because of Kavanaugh's abortion ruling, a sign that he may not endorse overturning Roe v. Wade outright.