Ex-Clinton adviser: Trump aiming for 'right-wing takeover' of the courts

These two judges are favorites to win Supreme Court nod

But finalists' faith was still a major talking point over the last week, especially when it came to Appellate Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who now serves on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Federalist Society does not take legal or policy positions, and members regularly debate the proper approach to health care policy, taxes and other issues, wrote Jonathan Adler, a society member and law professor at Case Western University, for The Washington Post a year ago.

"I've never seen a president of the United States in effect make himself a puppet of outside groups and choose from a group of right-wing fringe ideologues", he said on ABC's "This Week".

MARTIN: Is there any way to discern how much President Trump is weighing the idea of confirmability in his process?

Barrett - a longtime Notre Dame Law School professor who became a federal appeals judge last fall - excited social conservatives with her testimony when questioned about her Roman Catholic faith in her nomination hearings a year ago. And, you know, the concern would be that something could pop up going through all those papers that could make him a tougher pick. And Feinstein's question was criticized as anti-Catholic.

Trump had little to say about his choice before the announcement. Since 2006, he has been a judge on the federal appeals court in Washington.

Some Trump supporters who were near the scene said they did not understand the point of the protests, arguing that people need to give the nominee a chance and praising Trump's record as president.

But Trump appointed Barrett to the Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit just nine months ago, and he may well leave her to gain more experience.

Multiple sources tell ABC News that as of Sunday, the final four individuals Trump is considering for the vacancy are Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Raymond Kethledge and Thomas Hardiman. He financed his law degree at the Georgetown University Law Center by driving a taxi.

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The others are Republican targets for the confirmation vote who come from Trump-won states where they face re-election this fall. Democrats are voicing alarm about what the new justice could mean for charged issues such as abortion rights and gay rights.

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Outside Trump Tower in Midtown, demonstrators gathered to protest the potential shift of the Supreme Court to the right.

Kavanaugh, 53, was first nominated to the appeals court by President George W. Bush in 2003.

He recently voiced disagreement with a court decision allowing an undocumented teenage immigrant to get an abortion. Ten Democrats from states that Trump won are up for re-election this fall and will be under tremendous pressure to back the president's nominee. He's written 286 opinions, which is the most of any current judge under consideration.

With a slim one vote majority in the Senate, any GOP defections could prove problematic in winning confirmation for Trump's eventual choice, that is if Democrats hold together in opposition.

LEAHY: Well, I think the litmus test is what the president said.

"I'm open to voting yes". He said Sunday on CNN that he is "concerned about this nomination" but cautioned that it was too early to say how he planned to vote.

Numerous activists who showed up at the protest showed frustration with the New York Democrat for not showing up to a scheduled town hall last week to address their concerns. "I don't think my role is to rubber stamp for the president, but it's also not an automatic knee-jerk no, either".

Levy apparently glanced over the key difference between the Republicans' stalling of Obama's Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland and the newly-announced Trump nominee Brett Kavanaugh: Obama's nomination came in a presidential election year, while Kavanaugh's nomination is during a midterm election year.

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