President Donald Trump is expected to reveal his next Supreme Court nominee Monday night, a much-anticipated announcement that could establish conservative control over the country's most powerful judicial body for years to come.
Trump will be picking his second nominee to the high court in less than two years as president. His first pick, Justice Neil Gorsuch, was widely celebrated by conservatives and Trump supporters.
This time, Trump seeks to secure a five-member majority of conservatives that could establish — or upend — reams of legal precedent on issues ranging from abortion rights to same-sex marriage.
In the wake of Justice Anthony Kennedy's recent decision to resign in July, Trump quickly announced that the search for a replacement was underway. On Sunday, Trump tweeted his assurance that "an exceptional person will be chosen!"
What began with a list of 25 potential candidates was quickly whittled down to four front-runners, according to numerous news reports: Judges Brett Kavanaugh, Thomas Hardiman, Amy Coney Barrett and Raymond Kethledge.
While those four finalists vary in experience and opinions, all are considered to be more conservative than the outgoing Justice Kennedy.
Yet Democrats appear to have few options available to them to stop the appointment. Although Republicans enjoy only a razor-thin majority in the Senate, the minority may not be able to stop some more vulnerable red-state Democrats from supporting Trump's pick.