Pres. Donald Trump will announce his nominee to replace retiring U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on Monday night. "Throughout legal circles, he is considered a judge's judge, a true thought leader among his peers".
Kavanaugh told the president as he took the microphone to accept his nomination that he was "grateful to you" and "humbled by your confidence in me".
While some Democrats promised a stern effort to block the 53-year-old Kavanaugh - who has served 12 years on the most influential US appeals court - Trump's fellow Republicans control the Senate by a narrow margin and can ensure confirmation if they avoid defections from their ranks. It's the same court that produced three current high court justices.
He also worked for Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel who investigated then president Bill Clinton but in 2009 he was reported as saying that presidents should be free from civil lawsuits, criminal prosecutions and investigations while in office. Kavanaugh, 53, is a conservative, but NBC News reports he has not made many public statements or legal decisions about abortion rights. They see him as too pragmatic and have painted him as the kind of nominee who could betray conservatives. Of the court's liberal justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 85 and Stephen Breyer turns 80 next month, so Trump may well get another opportunity to cement conservative dominance of the court for years to come.
"I didn't know Justice Kennedy was going make this decision to retire but I like the timing and I think the quality of the potential successors is very high", Cornyn said.
Manchin is one of ten Senate Democrats up for re-election in states Trump won.
Republicans control the Senate by a 51-49 majority, making any efforts by Democrats to thwart Trump's nominee an uphill battle. John McCain of Arizona, is ill and may not be able to participate in the confirmation process.
Trump is said to have particularly liked Hardiman's life story. "And I believe this person will do a great job".
His appointment will not change the ideological tilt of a court that already has a 5-4 conservative majority, but he could nevertheless shift the bench further right.
Barrett is a socially conservative judge who has drawn considerable attention for her personal religious beliefs, which critics have argued could influence her rulings as a Supreme Court Justice. His mother, Martha, became a Maryland state judge a quarter-century ago.
A photo of Kavanaugh appearing chummy with former Bush political strategist Karl Rove, who has been critical of Trump, has been tweeted around by Trump supporters.
Interested in Supreme Court?He also has a deeper judicial record than she does.
McConnell warned Trump earlier that Kavanaugh could be more hard to confirm given his long history and paper trail, The New York Times reported over the weekend, and sources in both parties have said it could be hard to move the nomination quickly. A judge must interpret statutes as written. They sought someone with a long track record that included most of the controversial issues likely to come before the high court.
Barrett also clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
"Evangelicals are ecstatic because in less than two years President Trump has filled a second Supreme Court vacancy with a second conservative - just as he promised".
But she is also seen as potentially hard to confirm, given the narrowness of the Senate GOP majority, the previous controversy in her confirmation process when she was nominated for the federal bench a year ago, her lack of a deep judicial record of opinions and her openness to overturning Roe v. Wade.
Neil Gorsuch, 50, who was appointed by Mr Trump previous year, is already one of the most conservative of the court's nine justices. Kennedy, a 1988 appointee of President Ronald Reagan, was the most unpredictable.