She rocketed to the top of Trump's earlier list of 25 Supreme Court candidates after her performance during her confirmation hearing last fall, when Democrats cited her deep Catholic faith as a potential problem.
Kavanaugh, 53, had always been mentioned in Washington chatter as a potential high court choice by a Republican president because of his educational background, intellectual firepower and an unyielding commitment to a legal approach championed by conservative Supreme Court justices such as Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr.
The calls signal that Trump has narrowed his list of potential candidates to two finalists, but has not yet settled on a nominee with just hours to go until a scheduled 9 p.m.
The recommendation continued to underscore McConnell's significant behind-the-scenes role in the process - one bolstered by months of close coordination with the White House, and with White House counsel Don McGahn specifically, on filling circuit and district judge slots. Aside from Ginsberg, Sotomayor, Kagan and Gorsuch, the other justices on the court are conservatives John Roberts, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas and liberal Stephen Breyer.
According to the DC Circuit Court website, Kavanaugh volunteers, attends church, and coaches sports in the Washington, DC area, where he was born and raised. He also was a key aide to Kenneth Starr during Starr's investigation of President Bill Clinton, worked on behalf of George W. Bush's campaign during the election recount in 2000 and served in the Bush White House.
Kavanaugh graduated from Yale Law School and clerked for Kennedy in the mid-1990s.
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.
Kavanaugh has been viewed somewhat skeptically by some conservatives, who have scrutinized his ties to the Bushes and his long career inside the Beltway, the proverbial "swamp".
Some conservatives lobbied against him, worrying that his upbringing in the suburbs of D.C. could mean he'll be the kind of justice who has disappointed conservatives before. Young said the nominee is a well-respected judge with a strong record of honoring the Constitution and upholding the rule of law.
White House Principal Press Secretary, Raj Shah, tweeted out the following statement regarding Casey's opposition.
"My judicial philosophy is straightforward", he said. "A judge must interpret the Constitution as written".
Trump published a similar list during the 2016 campaign, and it was widely credited with helping him win the votes of social conservatives who otherwise might have been skeptical of a thrice-married billionaire from NY.
I urge Sen. Susan Collins to join with Democrats and block any Supreme Court justice nomination until the Russian investigation is complete. He was said to be the leading contender in the days after Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced his retirement.
"I hope I'm wrong but I suspect this is going to be a rough tough down in the dirt ear pulling nose biting fight", Kennedy said.
A Democrat in a state which voted overwhelmingly for Trump two years ago, Donnelly is up for re-election this year.
With customary fanfare, Trump planned to unveil his choice on prime-time TV. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of IN and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. "If you were looking for somebody to pick for the Supreme Court, you'd have to say that she's an excellent choice". They must defend 10 seats in the Senate in states that President Trump won.
Trump also met with Republican Sens. "As a result, I have grave concerns about this nomination". "President Trump is the one that made the litmus test for his nominee, not us".
This time, the Republicans have a simple majority in the Senate (51 votes needed), but in an election year anything can happen.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to get whoever President Trump chooses through their Senate confirmation and onto the Supreme Court before November.
Senate Republicans' stonewalling strategy extended to lower courts as well.
LINDSEY GRAHAM: Republicans are holding four lottery tickets, and all of them are winners.
"There is no one in America more qualified for this position, and no one more deserving", Trump said of Kavanaugh on Monday night. Trump pledged in 2016 that he would be "putting pro-life justices on the court".