Senators who could cast the deciding votes on the fate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh gave little indication of where their heads were on the matter on Tuesday, hours after President Donald Trump announced his nomination.
We'll unpack President Trump's pick for the next Supreme Court Justice.
The White House wants Kavanaugh to be in place by October 1, when the court's next term formally opens, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the Senate will vote to confirm Kennedy's successor in the fall.
Trump is scheduled to announce his nomination to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy at 9 p.m. on July 9.
"It makes flawless sense to me that Jeff Sessions can't oversee an investigation of the campaign he was part of", Graham said of the attorney general in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press".
Kavanaugh, just 53, could serve on the high court for decades. But some Democrats accused him of excessive partisanship and it took three years before the Senate eventually voted to confirm him.
"A president who is concerned about an ongoing criminal investigation is nearly inevitably going to do a worse job as president", Kavanaugh wrote.
The Trump 2016 campaign is under criminal investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on suspicion of collusion with the Russian government to influence the result of the presidential election. He added that President Trump delivered on a promise to nominate a judge who would "faithfully interpret the Constitution as written". If he's taking money from corporate interests, he should be impeached immediately and his nomination to the Supreme Court rejected if not withdrawn.
Kavanaugh is likely to be more conservative than Justice Kennedy on a range of social issues.
The anxiety over defections speaks to the narrowness of the Republican's majority in the Senate. "But the conservative senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee must use the confirmation hearing to ask him legitimate questions to verify his backers' claims that he's a textualist and originalist".More news: X Games star Travis Pastrana will attempt 3 Evel Knievel jumps
Both CNN and Politico report that Trump's one-on-one meeting with Kennedy cemented the choice, though NBC News went further in its reporting and is now taking flak for going public with-and then retracting-a one-source allegation of a deal between Kennedy and the White House.
Jon Kyl, who served three terms as a U.S. Senator from Arizona, will be deeply involved in the confirmation process of whomever President Donald Trump nominates to the Supreme Court.
Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana said he was bracing for a tough confirmation battle as Democrats focus on abortion.
Following the announcement major LGBT groups have lamented the ruling, while the ultra-conservative groups opposed to LGBT rights have reacted with jubilation.
Democrats are certain to press Trump's latest nominee on the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide, a decision some conservatives - particularly conservative Christians - have long wanted to overturn.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey commended Trump on the nomination of Kavanaugh.
With Democrats determined to vigorously oppose Trump's choice, the Senate confirmation battle is expected to dominate the months leading up to November's midterm elections. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also received a heads-up from the president.
Activists have sent coat hangers - an abortion rights symbol - to her office.
This is Mr Trump's second appointment to the highest court in the land, potentially allowing him to shape the USA for a generation after he leaves office.
In addition to abortion, the court could shift to the right on the death penalty, racial discrimination, environmental law and gay rights, all areas where Kennedy at least sometimes joined the court's liberal wing.