THE BEGINNING OF THE END?

Report: Trump Rushing to Announce Supreme Court Pick by July 11

President Trump’s rush to select a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy kicked into high gear late Thursday as he met with lawmakers to discuss the high-stakes vacancy and apparently try to woo key Democrats. The president is reportedly hoping to announce his pick before he departs for the NATO summit in Brussels on July 11, but he faces major opposition from Democrats who fear his pick for the post will give the federal judiciary a conservative slant for decades to come. The White House said late Thursday that Trump had met separately with three Republican senators and three red-state Democratic senators: Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. The three Democrats all broke ranks last year and voted to confirm Trump’s first Supreme Court pick, Judge Neil Gorsuch. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump’s meeting with those lawmakers and his contacts with “a dozen other senators” were part of an “ongoing outreach to get views and advice from both sides” on the SCOTUS nomination. The meeting was widely viewed as Trump rallying to win support from key Democrats so he can announce his SCOTUS pick and secure a confirmation before midterm elections in the fall.