Trump set to announce Supreme Court nominee today
None of the four contenders being considered as President Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court has been excluded, but the greatest focus has fallen on two candidates: Brett Kavanaugh and Thomas Hardiman, a source with first-hand knowledge of the process told NBC News.
Kavanaugh sits on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Hardiman is a judge on the 3rd Circuit of Appeals.
The other two front-runners are Amy Coney Barrett of the 7th Circuit of Appeals and Raymond Kethledge of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.
During the July 4 picnic at the White House, Trump suggested to friends and some external advisors that he had already made up his mind about whom he will pick to join the high court, the person said on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the ongoing deliberations.
That source, along with another person familiar with the negotiations, said the president gave strong indications that he prefers Kavanaugh.
Trump said on Sunday that he will announce his "final decision" at 9 p.m. ET on Monday. "An exceptional person will be chosen!" he exclaimed on Twitter.
Working ahead of midterms
Trump hopes to push his nominee through the confirmation process before midterm elections in November.
His pick to fill the seat of Justice Kennedy will help to define the court's path for decades to come.
Democrats have argued the Senate should wait to vote on another justice until after the elections, when the minority party has a chance to flip control of the chamber.