Former GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire helped shepherd Neil Gorsuch, Trump's pick to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia in 2017, through his successful confirmation process.
FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Supreme Court is seen as the court nears the end of its term in Washington, U.S., June 11, 2018. He expressed renewed interest in Hardiman - the runner-up when Trump nominated Gorsuch, said two people with knowledge of his thinking who were not authorized to speak publicly.
Trump spent the weekend at his New Jersey golf resort mulling over his final decision, but said that he was down to four candidates who still had a chance of being invited to the White House for their national televised coming out party on Monday night. A more conservative majority could be more willing to uphold state restrictions on abortion, if not overturn the 45-year-old landmark Roe v. Wade decision that established a woman's constitutional right.
Barrett of IN, 46, serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.
White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement that Kyl "has agreed to serve as the Sherpa for the President's nominee to the Supreme Court".
But that element of his record is among the reasons that some Republicans in Congress are concerned about a confirmation hearing in the Senate.
Once Trump names his nominee, all eyes will shift to a handful of moderate Democratic and Republican senators.
Kavanaugh, 53, is a former Kennedy law clerk who was appointed to the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals by former President George W. Bush after serving five years in the White House counsel's office during the Bush administration.
Hardiman has a tale Republicans like McConnell love: a former taxi driver from the key swing state of Pennsylvania who comes with the recommendation of fellow 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Maryanne Trump Barry - the president's sister. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the majority leader, has tried to warn the president through gentle nudging that Hardiman and Kethledge would be the safest choices for confirmation. "I don't think my role is a rubber stamp for the President, but it's also not an automatic, knee-jerk no either", Jones said.
The announcement will set in a motion a brutal - and expensive - political battle over Trump's supreme court nominee.
"Remember, the President ran on the Supreme Court issue and that greatly enthused voters", Leonard Leo, who is now on leave from the Federalist Society, where he helped craft Trump's list of candidates, said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday. "But this is really about the process and whether or not the corporate right is going to be in charge of picking the Supreme Court in a seat, in a nomination that's likely to tip the scales substantially".