United States President Donald Trump nominated the judge Brett Kavanaugh as a replacement for retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on Monday. Plus, he is a former law clerk to Kennedy, who switched sides quite a bit during his time on the Supreme Court.
Judge Kavanaugh has served as a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 2006, authoring more than 300 opinions, including 11 that have been affirmed by the Supreme Court.
Kavanaugh worked for Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel whose investigation of Clinton helped spur an effort by congressional Republicans in 1998 and 1999 to impeach the Democratic president and remove him from office.
"I will oppose the nomination the President will make tonight because it represents a corrupt bargain with the far Right, big corporations, and Washington special interests", said Casey in a statement.
"There is no one in America more qualified for this position and no one more deserving", said Trump, who called Kavanaugh "one of the sharpest legal minds of our time".
"Throughout legal circles, he is considered a judge's judge, a true thought leader among his peers", Trump said of Kavanaugh.
The nomination, 12 days after the retirement of Mr Kennedy, gives Republicans their best chance in decades at securing a five-member majority (out of nine) in the highest court in the U.S. and power to shape legal battles over guns, immigration, the environment and civil rights.
While conservative on firearms and election financing, Kennedy showed a more progressive streak on issues such as abortion and affirmative action.
With a slim one vote majority in the Senate, any GOP defections could prove problematic in winning confirmation for Trump's eventual choice, that is if Democrats hold together in opposition.
With Senator John McCain battling cancer in his home state of Arizona, Republicans can now only muster 50 votes. Both support a woman's right to have an abortion and will be looking for assurances that the nominee would not overturn the Roe v Wade decision establishing abortion rights.
The 52-year-old Hardiman was nominated to the federal trial court by George W. Bush in 2003 and to the 3rd Circuit in 2007 and was confirmed by the Senate in a 95-0 vote. Ten Democrats from states that Trump won are up for re-election this fall and will be under tremendous pressure to back the president's nominee. Joe Manchin and North Dakota Sen.
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.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, who once held a court seat open for almost a year before the 2016 election to keep former President Barack Obama from filling it, lambasted Democrats for announcing their opposition before Trump had decided on a nominee.
This story is breaking and will be updated. But his decision and status as the court's swing vote on a number of social issues left liberals anxious the court would soon become more conservative under Trump's watch.
"Not being a politician, I think people wanted to hear what some of my choices may be, and it was pretty effective", Trump said of the list, on the day Kennedy's retirement was announced.
Hatch said he expects a fight with the Democrats over the nomination will be "vicious".
The announcement will set in a motion a brutal - and expensive - political battle over Trump's supreme court nominee. "What we need to know is that anyone coming onto the Supreme Court is going to uphold the law of the land and particularly a woman's right to decide what happens to her own body". Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer on Monday said Trump's nominee should be obligated to make his or her views clear on matters like the Roe ruling. Barletta was elected to the U.S. House in 2010-a Republican "wave" year-and was also rumored to be on Trump's short list for labor secretary during the transition.