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Trump reportedly settles on short list of SCOTUS noms. Who are they?

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 14:  An American flag flies at half mast following the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia at the U.S. Supreme Court, February 14, 2016 in Washington, DC. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was at a Texas Ranch Saturday morning when he died at the age of 79. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
The U.S. Supreme Court, February 14, 2016 in Washington, DC.

President Donald Trump is closing in on his next Supreme Court nominee, with three federal judges leading the competition to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

President Donald Trump is closing in on his next Supreme Court nominee, with three federal judges leading the competition to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Trump's top contenders for the vacancy at this time are federal appeals judges Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Raymond Kethledge, said a person familiar with Trump's thinking who was not authorized to speak publicly.

The race, as many media observers are reporting, seems to be between 46-year-old Coney Barrett - a devout Catholic and former law professor - and Kavanaugh, who serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. The two contenders represent two factions within the conservative movement: namely, social conservatism with an emphasis on religious values versus a more libertarian-minded conservatism.

With files from the Associated Press

Guests:

John Eastman, constitutional law professor at Chapman University; senior fellow at the think tank, Claremont Institute

Josh Blackman, constitutional law associate professor at South Texas College of Law; he tweets

Jody Armour, professor of law at USC; he tweets

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