The TAKE with Rick Klein
Questions for Brett Kavanaugh will hinge less on qualifications and even judicial ideology than they will on partisanship. His central-casting GOP resume gives him powerful friends, but also immense amounts of paper.
That includes extensive writings and rulings about executive power, including whether presidents should be subject to civil or criminal litigation at all. The questions Kavanaugh has long pondered, in and out of powerful government positions, are not hypotheticals.
The most intense immediate focus will be on two moderate Republicans, either of whom — in the absence of Sen. John McCain — could sink the nomination by herself. Yet, that could happen only if the new nominee loses all of the Democrats.
That's where well-funded outside pressure will be applied. That's also where Trump benefits from keeping intact the powerful conservative infrastructure around judgeships — one of the few establishment institutions he did not seek to blow up.
The weeks ahead will be about Kavanaugh, and about the causes and the president (yes, one named Bush) he once served.
But, as always in this era, the biggest questions are likely to revolve around Trump.
The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks
The country now has a name and also a sketch of some of the issues Judge Brett Kavanaugh could help decide next year, if confirmed.
The Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments again beginning in October, and it is possible Kavanaugh could be confirmed by the Senate by then.
Here's some of what we know is on the docket:
There is a case about how far the federal government can go in designating private land as critical habitat for endangered species. Also, there's one on whether age discrimination in employment laws should apply to even small local municipal offices.
There's a case to determine if a state can execute a prisoner with certain mental disabilities, and one about whether some non-citizen immigrants, who have been convicted of a crime, can be detained without a bond hearing through their immigration proceedings.
Of course, the October list is far from exhaustive. The justices will add more cases for next year in the weeks and months ahead as lower courts continue to dole out rulings.
Most likely, the top court will take up high-profile issues related to abortion, environmental regulation, health care, religious freedom and immigration.
Still, the questions already on the table provide a clear reminder of the potential impact of this nomination.
The TIP with Mariam Khan
Three vulnerable red-state Democrats, Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, all of whom are up for re-election this November, were invited to the White House Monday evening for the president's Supreme Court announcement- and all declined.
All three are facing mounting pressure from Democrats to oppose Trump's nominee, but have previously signaled they're keeping an open mind and plan to carefully vet and consider the nominee before they come to a decision. They also supported Neil Gorsuch last year.
"Sen. Heitkamp … has made clear – as she said to the president in person two weeks ago — that she considers fully vetting Supreme Court nominees one of the most important jobs of any U.S. senator, and she plans to fulfill that critical duty," Heitkamp's office said in a statement to ABC News.
Donnelly said in a statement: "I declined so that I can meet first with the nominee in a setting where we can discuss his or her experience and perspectives. In the coming days, I will be reviewing the record and qualifications of the president's nominee."
Manchin echoed that, saying "we should debate his qualifications on the Senate floor and cast whatever vote we believe he deserves. I look forward to meeting with Judge Kavanaugh, examining his rulings and making a determination of whether to provide my consent."
Also on the invite list? Two moderate Republican women who are staunchly pro-abortion rights and could potentially help Democrats tank Trump's nomination.
Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska were invited to the White House on Monday but they both declined.
Murkowski told reporters she planned to watch Trump's announcement on television, just like "everybody else."
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"No President has ever consulted more widely, or talked with more people from more backgrounds, to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination." — Judge Brett Kavanaugh said after being nominated by President Donald Trump for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Monday.
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The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.