Trump says he has interviewed 4 candidates for high court


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump interviewed four prospective Supreme Court justices today and had plans to meet with a few more as his White House aggressively mobilizes to select a replacement for retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Eager to build suspense, Trump wouldn't divulge who he's talking to in advance of his big announcement, set for next Monday. But he promised that "they are outstanding people. They are really incredible people in so many different ways, academically and in every other way. I had a very, very interesting morning."

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump met with four people for 45 minutes each today and will continue meetings through the rest of the week.

Possible nominees being eyed include Thomas Hardiman, who serves alongside Trump's sister on the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Raymond Kethledge, a federal appeals court judge who clerked for Kennedy. Also of interest are Amul Thapar, who serves on the federal appeals court in Cincinnati; Brett Kavanaugh, a former clerk for Kennedy who serves on the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.; and Amy Coney Barrett, who serves on the federal appeals court in Chicago.

The president spent the weekend at his Bedminster golf club, consulting with advisers, including White House counsel Don McGahn, as he considers his options to fill the vacancy with a justice who has the potential to be part of precedent-shattering court decisions on abortion, health care, gay marriage and other issues.

McGahn will lead the overall selection and confirmation process, the White House said, repeating the role he played in the successful confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch last year.

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