U.S. President Donald Trump is assuring supporters that they will love the Supreme Court nominee he is set to name Monday.
"I think you're going to be very impressed," Trump said during a dinner for U.S. troops Tuesday night in West Virginia.
The U.S. leader praised his first nominee, Neil Gorsuch, a conservative and former appellate court judge who has now served on the Supreme Court for more than a year.
"We hit a home run there," Trump said, employing a baseball analogy, adding, "And we're going to hit a home run here."
This week, Trump has interviewed seven possible nominees, six of them now serving as appellate court judges, one rung below the Supreme Court, along with Utah Senator Mike Lee. All are conservatives, in line with Trump's pledge to voters during his 2016 presidential campaign, that given a chance to make one or more lifetime Supreme Court appointments, he would seek to cement a conservative majority for a generation to come.
Trump's choice, if confirmed by the Senate, would replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who last week announced his retirement, effective July 31. Kennedy often cast the deciding vote on the court, most often handing the four conservative justices on the court the deciding vote they needed in key 5-4 decisions, but also occasionally siding with the court's four liberals, notably to favor upholding abortion and gay rights.
Most U.S. analysts assume that Trump's court choice, no matter who it is, will push the court toward more conservative rulings, possibly overturning some of the decisions Kennedy favored.
Some of Trump's fellow Republicans say they believe Trump is focusing particularly on three appellate judges -- Brett Kavanaugh, who worked in the White House under former Republican President George W. Bush, Amy Coney Barrett, a former Notre Dame Law School professor, and Thomas Hardiman, who was believed to be one of Trump's finalists when Trump ultimately selected Gorsuch early last year shortly after taking office.
Trump: Supporters Will Be 'Impressed' with Supreme Court Pick