Red-state Dems decline invite to Trump's Supreme Court announcement

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Stephanopoulos also asked Leo about an argument by some Democrats, including Blumenthal, that no new justice should be appointed until after special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation is finished because it would be improper for the president to nominate someone who may have jurisdiction over the probe.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said Sunday President Trump is acting like a "puppet" for outside groups and claimed Trump is set to nominate a "fringe ideologue" to the Supreme Court. "I don't think my role is a rubber stamp for the President, but it's also not an automatic, knee-jerk no either", Jones said.

Attorney Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society, who is advising Trump on the process, said Blumenthal's remarks were "insulting and offensive". "And their records are a little bit lighter".

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The nominee is expected to meet in coming days with senators at their offices, going door-to-door in get-to-know-you sessions ahead of confirmation hearings.

That was the message Monday from a quartet of red-state Democratic senators after the White House invited them to the East Room for President Trump's unveiling of his Supreme Court nominee. "But we're very close to making a decision".

Battle lines have been drawn over the future of abortion in America on the eve of President Trump's nomination of a second justice to the United States supreme court that could put the landmark 1973 ruling Roe v Wade in jeopardy.

Outside adviser Leonard Leo, now on leave from the Federalist Society, said on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that this kind of jockeying is standard, noting that "every potential nominee before announcement gets concerns expressed about them by people who might ultimately support them". "Every one. You can't go wrong".

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President Trump has decided on his nominee for the Supreme Court, a source with knowledge of the search told Fox News, though the name of the pick still is not known.

The source told Reuters that Amy Coney Barrett of IN, a Trump-appointed judge on the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, was still IN contention but that the Republican president had been asking more questions about the other two, who have more extensive judicial records. Conservative and liberal interest groups are poised to spend tens of millions of dollars in advertising and grass-roots activity.

By installing Gorsuch and another, similar candidate on the court, Trump can tell conservative voters that he kept his promises and give them a reason to solidify his electoral coalition. Though Kennedy is a conservative, he was often a swing vote on big decisions, such as same-sex marriage, abortion and affirmative action.

Cornyn spoke shortly after Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said any of Trump's likely nominees poses a threat to the Affordable Care Act and a woman's right to have an abortion.

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.

Barrett, who is 46, has less of a judicial record to review, having just been nominated to the appeals court by Trump a year ago. She once called a 1992 Supreme Court decision that upheld Roe v. Wade "erroneous".

Barrett - a longtime Notre Dame Law School professor who became a federal appeals judge last fall - excited social conservatives with her testimony when she was questioned about her Roman Catholic faith in her nomination hearings past year.

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