President Trump said Tuesday he will announce his selection to fill the Supreme Court vacancy “sometime next week.”
"I'll be making my decision this week, we'll be announcing next week," he told reporters in the Oval Office. "We have outstanding candidates, and we will pick a truly great Supreme Court justice."
Trump’s nomination to fill the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat is expected to trigger a high-stakes battle in the Senate.
Republicans last year refused to give former President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaMeghan McCain: Obama 'a dirty capitalist like the rest of us' Dems might begin again with Kamala Harris and California Obama shamefully lines pockets with 0K for Wall Street speech MORE's nominee, Merrick Garland, a hearing or a vote. They argued that the vacancy shouldn't be filled during an election year.
But Democrats have pledged to put up a fight over Trump’s nominee.
“If the nominee is not bipartisan and mainstream, we absolutely will keep the seat open,” Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles SchumerCruz: 'Schumer and the Democrats want a shutdown' GOP fundraiser enters crowded primary for Pa. Senate seat Dems: Trump risks government shutdown over border wall MORE (D-N.Y.) said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Schumer has come under Republican fire for indicating that he would be willing to leave the Supreme Court seat open if Trump doesn't appoint a "mainstream" nominee.
The New York Democrat is scheduled to sit down with Trump Tuesday afternoon in the Roosevelt Room to discuss the pick, alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellHundreds of former EPA employees blast Trump on climate change Democrats must have a better response on net neutrality than simply 'no' The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Ky.) and Sens. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyComey to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee GOP to kill language exempting staff from new ObamaCare repeal bill House cyber chairman wants to bolster workforce MORE (R-Iowa) and Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinComey to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee House cyber chairman wants to bolster workforce Trump, lower court nominees need American Bar Association review MORE (D-Calif.) — the top members on the Judiciary Committee.
Trump outlined a list of 21 potential picks during the campaign and has reportedly been narrowing down possible selections.
His nominee will need 60 votes — including at least 8 Democrats — to be approved by the Senate.
--Jordain Carney contributed to this report,