Schumer suggests Trump nominate Merrick Garland

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and the Supreme Court nomination (all times local):

8:25 a.m.

President Donald Trump is closing in on his next Supreme Court nominee, with three federal judges leading the competition to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Trump’s top contenders for the vacancy at this time are federal appeals judges Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Raymond Kethledge. That’s according to a person familiar with Trump’s thinking who was not authorized to speak publicly.

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.

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.

12:354

President Donald Trump isn’t the only administration official meeting with potential nominees for the Supreme Court. The Associated Press has learned that Vice President Mike Pence has met with some of the candidates in recent days.

A person familiar with the search process confirms Pence’s participation. The person did not specify which candidates Pence met with and spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the process.

Trump himself has spoken with seven potential candidates and is set to announce his decision on Monday. He has said he’ll choose from a list of 25 candidates vetted by conservative groups.

Trump’s choice to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, often a swing vote among the nine justices, has the potential to remake the high court for a generation.

This article provided by NewsEdge.