Mike Lee of Utah, who is not regarded as a top contender.
Trump has said he'll choose his nominee from a list of 25 candidates vetted by conservative groups.
"That'll happen automatically, in my opinion, because I am putting pro-life justices on the court", Trump said. Such an important decision and we're going to give you a great one.
Thapar, 49, is a federal appeals court judge from Kentucky who is close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Trump also nominated 94 district court judges, with the Senate confirming 20 to date, and 15 judges in other key courts, of which the Senate has confirmed five.
Kennedy announced his decision to retire at the end of July, setting up a fight to fill his seat. The senator's office characterized the call as an interview, but the White House would only say the two spoke.
All the three women on the US Supreme Court now - Ruth Baden Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor - are liberal and support Roe v. Wade and will oppose any attempt to overturn it. Coney Barrett's vote, the columnist argued, would broad-base the opposition to it.
President Trump has reportedly also interviewed Sen. Lee has been floated as a potential justice as well in the conservative press. Though the court said park rangers had violated his free speech rights, the case was not about the right to abortion itself.
As First Things readers nearly certainly know, now-Judge Barrett became something of a celebrity, even a symbol, during her confirmation hearings previous year before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"There's little doubt from the movement perspective that Barrett would be an excellent choice".
While the Republican Party has become more unified than it's been in years with Trump in the White House, familiar fissures are re-emerging between religious conservatives who champion social issues and legal conservatives who abhor government encroachment.
McGahn will lead the overall selection and confirmation process, the White House said Monday, repeating the role he played in the successful confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch past year. "Her clarity and intellectual strength in the Senate hearings for her current judgeship showed an intellect and a depth of thought that would be powerful on the Supreme Court". And Democrats claim that Barrett - like the other picks - would favor overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that affirmed a woman's right to abortion, and would weaken President Barack Obama's 2010 health care law.
"I think I've made it pretty clear that if a nominee has demonstrated hostility to Roe v Wade and has said that they're are not going to abide by that longstanding precedent, that I could not support that nominee", Collins told MSNBC.
Kennedy, a moderate conservative, sided with his more liberal colleagues on a number of issues, including abortion rights and paving the way to legalizing gay marriage. Chieffo took her past year to oppose President Trump's first Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, but Gorsuch was confirmed without much trouble in 2017 after the Senate voted to change its rules and clear the way for Supreme Court justices to win approval based on a simple 51-vote majority.
At least one Republican, Susan Collins, has said that she would not vote for a nominee who supports the overturning of Roe v. Wade, a ruling that struck down laws restricting abortions.