Michigan judge on list of potential SCOTUS nominees

President Donald Trump will announce his choice for the Supreme Court Monday at 9 p.m., his second pick since assuming office. It very well could be a judge from Metro Detroit.

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The president started with a list of about 25 names and has narrowed it down to three or four. That list includes Michigan Appeals Court Judge Raymond Kethledge, who lives in Novi. 

The U.S. Marshals have been watching over his house the past several days now. They're expected to be out here until the big announcement tonight, which is expected at 9 p.m. You can watch right here on FOX 2 and FOX 2 News Now live on Facebook

Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Thomas Hardiman are said to be the other top contenders to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. 

In regards to Kethledge, he's been on the Sixth Circuit Court of appeals for ten years. He's resume includes time in a private practice here in Michigan, as well as a stint as the counsel for Ford Motor Co. He's known for being conservative, thoughtful and open-minded. 

President Trump has said "you can't go wrong" about his final four options. 

"I'm very close to making a final decision. And I believe this person will do a great job," Trump said. Asked by reporters how many people were being considered, the president said: "Let's say it's the four people ... they're excellent, every one."

Trump has expressed renewed interest in Hardiman -- the runner-up when Trump nominated Gorsuch, said two people with knowledge of his thinking who were not authorized to speak publicly. But the situation appeared to remain fluid. 

Hardiman has a personal connection to the president, having served with Trump's sister on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. He also has a compelling personal story: He went to the University of Notre Dame as the first person in his family to go to college. He financed his law degree at the Georgetown University Law Center by driving a taxi.

Some conservatives have expressed concerns about Kavanaugh -- a longtime judge and former clerk for Kennedy -- questioning his commitment to social issues like abortion and noting his time serving under President George W. Bush as evidence he is a more establishment choice. But his supporters cite his experience and wide range of legal opinions. He is also former law clerk to Kennedy, as is Kethledge.

Barrett -- a longtime Notre Dame Law School professor who became a federal judge last fall -- excited social conservatives since she was questioned about her Roman Catholic faith in her nomination hearings last year, but her brief time on the bench has raised questions about her experience.

The president and White House officials involved in the process have fielded calls and messages and have been on the receiving end of public pleas and op-eds for or against specific candidates since Kennedy announced on June 27 that he would retire this summer.

Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Roy Blunt of Missouri said Sunday that they believe any of the top four contenders could get confirmed by the GOP-majority Senate.


The Associated Press contributed to this report