Liberals also took issue with the presence of Leonard Leo, the Federalist Society's executive vice president, who is now on leave from the group of conservative attorneys and scholars to work with Trump's Supreme Court nomination team.
A ferocious confirmation battle with Democrats is expected as the president seeks to shift the nation's highest court further to the right.
Trump spoke to reporters Sunday afternoon before returning to Washington from a weekend at his private golf club in New Jersey, where he deliberated his decision amid furious lobbying and frenzied speculation. He also recognized Justice Antonin Scalia's wife Maureen, and Edwin Meese, President Reagan's attorney general, who was also in attendance.
Kennedy's replacement also could be more willing to allow states to carry out executions and could support undoing earlier court holdings in the areas of racial discrimination in housing and the workplace.More news: Gazza's message for Southgate and his England squad
"If the president chooses her, then the Democrats are going to have to face the fact that they're really not for women unless they're Democrat women", Hatch said.
The high court handed Trump and his administration a series of victories in its term that ended on the day of Kennedy's retirement, including a major decision upholding the president's travel ban targeting people from several Muslim-majority countries.
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.
When Trump nominated Justice Neil Gorsuch in 2017, he faced an intense backlash from liberal activists and fielded a barrage of hostile questions from Democratic senators during his confirmation hearings.
He also spent five years in the White House under George W. Bush as associate counsel, a senior associate counsel and as staff secretary, which prompted Democrats to cast him as an inexperienced partisan ideologue during his contentious confirmation in 2006 to the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Trump has often clashed with Republican leadership, even publicly, and his decision to nominate Kavanaugh could stir up problems between him and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Barry served alongside Hardiman as a federal appeals judge on the 3rd Circuit before stepping down a year ago. I am thinking of that person, but I will announce it on prime time TV at the White House.More news: Dissident Liu Xiaobo's widow 'allowed to leave China'
In his presidency of less than two years, this would be his second Supreme Court judge nomination. Kavanaugh later worked with independent counsel Kenneth Starr during the investigation of President Bill Clinton.
Such comments are likely to raise a red flag to moderate Republican senators like Susan Collins, R-Maine, who have said they would not vote for a nominee who has expressed doubts about overturning precedents when it comes to abortion and other long-standing Supreme Court decisions.
One Democrat up for re-election, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, announced Monday he would oppose any nominee from Trump's list of 25 possible candidates, drafted by conservative groups.
Barrett, the only woman under consideration, has the support of Sean Hannity, the Fox News host and close Trump ally, who played golf with the president in New Jersey on Sunday.
Kethledge, a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, is a former Kennedy clerk and a former in-house lawyer at Ford Motor Co.
"I will oppose Judge Kavanaugh's nomination with everything I have", Schumer's statement said, "and I hope a bipartisan majority will do the same".More news: Justin Bieber & Hailey Baldwin engaged
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