U.S. Supreme Court

Republican Sen. Susan Collins says Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh told her he views the landmark abortion rights ruling Roe v. Wade as "settled law."

That assurance, made during a Tuesday morning meeting in the Maine senator's office that lasted more than two hours, likely goes a long way toward securing a key vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Updated at 9:57 a.m. ET

It's not every midterm election year that a Supreme Court seat is vacant — much less the court's swing vote — and the senators whose re-election bids could swing control of the U.S. Senate next year are well aware.

Indiana Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly is running to hold on to his seat in a state President Trump won by nearly 20 points. He and another vulnerable Democrat, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, are meeting with President Trump's nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, on Wednesday.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh shares one important view with President Trump: Both are deeply suspicious of any attempt to limit the president's power over executive branch officials.

That view could have important consequences for special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Russian interference in the 2016 election, which includes allegations of collusion and possible obstruction of justice.

There are about 2 million people who work in the federal government. Despite being in charge of the executive branch, the president is limited in the people he can fire.

But could that be about to change?

In Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump has nominated someone to the Supreme Court who believes, as he does, in an expansive view of presidential power.

Could the president hire and fire civil servants at will, for example? That question is at the heart of a concept that likely will come up often at Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings this fall.

Three-quarters of Americans think the Supreme Court should not overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that made abortion legal nationwide, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds.

But that result includes a degree of nuance.

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What would the U.S. look like without Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide?

That’s the question now that President Donald Trump has chosen conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Al Diaz / Associated Press

Judge Brett Kavanaugh, nominated by President Donald Trump Monday night to the U.S. Supreme Court, has played a pivotal role in some of Florida's most contentious moments, from Elian González to the Bush vs. Gore presidential election.

In the end, after days of highly dramatized deliberation, President Trump had to choose. He had to choose not only between several possible nominees for the Supreme Court, but also between categories of advisers.

In this case, he chose to listen to his lawyers rather than his talk show hosts. And he did not seem overly concerned about the warning Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had issued over the weekend about which prospective nominees would be easiest to get confirmed.

President Trump's nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy was met with swift partisan response from many in Congress, emphasizing the power of a narrow group of uncommitted senators.

A large number of Senate Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., immediately announced that they plan to vote against Kavanaugh.

Updated at 11 p.m. ET

President Trump has chosen Brett Kavanaugh, a conservative judge from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit — often thought of as the second-most-powerful court in the country — to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh is a connected Washington insider with roots in politics in the George W. Bush White House. He has written almost 300 opinions for the D.C. Circuit in 12 years — and he is only 53, which means he could serve on the high court for a very long time.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

The president is revealing his choice to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Watch the announcement LIVE at 9:00 PM Eastern Time.

Updated at 5:25 p.m. ET

With just hours to go before the official announcement, President Trump has made a decision on his pick for the next Supreme Court justice, a source close to the decision-making process tells NPR's Mara Liasson.

But there is still no indication which of the four finalists it will be.

As of Monday morning, Trump was still deciding among Judges Thomas Hardiman, Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge and Amy Coney Barrett.

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

The final hours of President Trump's decision-making on his second Supreme Court nominee are being described as hectic and unpredictable — and the president has still not made a decision.

"It's insane" over there, said a source close to the process. Few have had any sleep in Bedminster, N.J., as deliberations continue over the pros and cons of the potential nominees, and no one is sure which way the president is going to go, the source said.

The internal White House debate over who should replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court reflects the broader political split within the Republican Party — and the mistrust that is nursed by outside-the-Beltway social conservatives about the more establishment and business-oriented wing of the party.

So it is perhaps no surprise that a quintessentially Washingtonian fight has erupted between the supporters of the two leading candidates for the nomination, Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Updated at 3:01 p.m. ET

President Trump said Wednesday he intends to nominate a replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy from a list of names he first compiled during his 2016 campaign. He told reporters he had recently added five more names to the list. Here is a look at who is under consideration:

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