The Latest: Dem: New swipe at 'Obamacare' shows court stakes

Published 07-09-2018

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on President Donald Trump's nomination of a Supreme Court justice (all times local):

3:30 p.m.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer says a weekend move by the Trump administration to undercut the Affordable Care Act is another reason for senators to closely scrutinize the president's Supreme Court nominee.

With little warning, the Republican administration announced it is freezing payments under an "Obamacare" program that protects insurers with sicker patients from financial losses. If the decision is made permanent, it would lead to higher premiums.

Schumer says the administration's action highlights the stakes for senators. Trump is announcing his pick to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on Monday night.

He says, "Because President Trump has said repeatedly that he would nominate judges to overturn the ACA, the Supreme Court vacancy is only further putting health care front and center, raising the stakes for maintaining these vital health care protections."

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1:55 p.m.

Former Sen. Jon Kyl will guide President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee through the Senate confirmation process.

White House spokesman Raj Shah says the Arizona Republican "has agreed to serve as the Sherpa for the President's nominee to the Supreme Court."

Kyl, a former member of Republican leadership, served on the Senate Judiciary Committee before retiring from the Senate in January 2013. He works for Washington-based lobbying firm Covington & Burling.

The White House hopes Kyl's close ties to Senate Republicans will help smooth the path for Trump's eve

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1:55 p.m.

Former Sen. Jon Kyl will guide President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee through the Senate confirmation process.

White House spokesman Raj Shah says the Arizona Republican "has agreed to serve as the Sherpa for the President's nominee to the Supreme Court."

Kyl, a former member of Republican leadership, served on the Senate Judiciary Committee before retiring from the Senate in January 2013. He works for Washington-based lobbying firm Covington & Burling.

The White House hopes Kyl's close ties to Senate Republicans will help smooth the path for Trump's eventual selection to win confirmation. Trump is set to announce his pick for the vacancy left by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy at 9 p.m. Monday.

Former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte served as the 'sherpa' for Justice Neil Gorsuch in 2017.

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1:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump has yet to announce his pick for Supreme Court, but Democratic Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania – up for re-election – says he'll be opposed.

Casey says

Former Sen. Jon Kyl will guide President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee through the Senate confirmation process.

White House spokesman Raj Shah says the Arizona Republican "has agreed to serve as the Sherpa for the President's nominee to the Supreme Court."

Kyl, a former member of Republican leadership, served on the Senate Judiciary Committee before retiring from the Senate in January 2013. He works for Washington-based lobbying firm Covington & Burling.

The White House hopes Kyl's close ties to Senate Republicans will help smooth the path for Trump's eventual selection to win confirmation. Trump is set to announce his pick for the vacancy left by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy at 9 p.m. Monday.

Former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte served as the 'sherpa' for Justice Neil Gorsuch in 2017.

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1:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump has yet to announce his pick for Supreme Court, but Democratic Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania – up for re-election – says he'll be opposed.

Casey says the list of judges Trump has used to find a Supreme Court nominee is the "fruit of a corrupt process straight from the D.C. swamp." He cites involvement of the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank in drafting the list.

The Democratic senator is up for re-election this year in a state Trump won in 2016. The race is not expected to be competitive.

Bob Salera, a campaign spokesman for Senate Republicans, said Casey has "given up any pretense of being a moderate voice" by opposing Trump's nominee sight unseen.

Casey says he is "pro-life," but regularly sides with supporters of abortion rights in Senate votes.

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10:25 a.m.

The conservative Judicial Crisis Network is set to launch a $1.4 million ad buy on behalf of President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee.

Trump is expected to reveal his pick at 9 p.m. Monday. When the announcement is made, the campaign will kick off. It will feature cable and digital advertising in states including Alabama, Indiana, North Dakota and West Virginia.

The campaign will include a biographical ad about the nominee.

The group started advertising after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement. The new ad brings their total investment to $2.4 million. They will also launch a website with information on the nominee

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6 a.m.

President Donald Trump is going down to the wire as he makes his choice on a replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. But he says with his final four options "you can't go wrong."

Trump spoke to reporters Sunday afternoon as he concluded a weekend in New Jersey spent deliberating his decision at his private golf club. Trump insisted he still hadn't locked down his decision, which he wants to keep under wraps until a 9 p.m. Monday announcement from the White House.

While Trump didn't name the four, top contenders for the role have included federal appeals judges Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett and Thomas Hardiman.

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President Donald Trump points before boarding Air Force One at Morristown Municipal Airport, in Morristown, N.J., Sunday, July 8, 2018, en route to Washington from Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) - The Associated Press


FILE - In this June 26, 2017, file photo, The Supreme Court is seen in Washington. Recent presidents have delighted in dramatically revealing the people they have chosen to sit on the Supreme Court. And they’ve gone to some lengths to keep their ultimate choice under wraps. Trump is expected on Monday to announce his choice to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) - The Associated Press


FILE - In this March 8, 2017, file photo, Judge Thomas Hardiman smiles during a meeting with The Associated Press in Philadelphia. President Donald Trump's list of candidates for the Supreme Court, posted on White House website in November 2017 includes Hardiman. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, file) - The Associated Press


In this May 7, 2008, image from video provided by C-SPAN, Raymond Kethledge testifies during his confirmation hearing for the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court on Capitol Hill in Washington. 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, said a person familiar with Trump's thinking who was not authorized to speak publicly.(C-SPAN via AP) - The Associated Press


This 2017 photo provided by the University of Notre Dame Law School in South Bend, Ind., shows Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Barrett is on President Donald Trump's list of potential Supreme Court Justice candidates to fill the spot vacated by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. (University of Notre Dame Law School via AP) - The Associated Press


FILE -In this April 26, 2004, file photo, Brett Kavanaugh appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Kavanaugh is on President Donald Trump's list of potential Supreme Court Justice candidates to fill the spot vacated by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook, File) - The Associated Press