WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump is set to announce his pick for the Supreme Court next week.
The Associated Press reports Trump has three top contenders in mind for the vacancy created by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his retirement last week.
Trump’s top contenders for the vacancy at this time are federal appeals judges Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Raymond Kethledge, said a person familiar with Trump’s thinking who was not authorized to speak publicly to the AP.
Kethledge, 51, is a Wayne State University law school grad who was originally appointed by George W. Bush. He is currently serving as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Michigan.
Working closely with a White House team and consulting with lawmakers and outside advisers, Trump has spent the week deliberating on the choice. He conducted interviews on Monday and Tuesday and has spoken to seven possible candidates. He has not yet publicly indicated that he has narrowed the list and could still consider others in the mix.
With customary fanfare, Trump plans to announce his selection Monday night, kicking off a contentious nomination process as Republicans seek to shift the court to the right and Democrats strive to block the effort.
Other contenders that have received serious interest include federal appeals judges Amul Thapar, Thomas Hardiman and Joan Larsen.