Former Arizona senator to shepherd Supreme Court nominee through confirmation process

Former Arizona senator to shepherd Supreme Court nominee through confirmation process
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The White House announced Monday it has tapped former Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl (R) to help shepherd President TrumpDonald John TrumpNYT publisher: US didn't step in to protect reporter from arrest in Egypt so paper turned to Ireland Trump instructed administration to withhold military aid for Ukraine days before call with president: report More Democrats threaten impeachment over Trump's dealings with Ukraine MORE’s Supreme Court nominee through the Senate. 

"Former Sen. Jon Kyl has agreed to serve as the sherpa for the president's nominee to the Supreme Court,” White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement.

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Kyl has a wealth of experience in the Senate, which will be needed as the president’s nominee is expected to face an intense confirmation battle.

The Arizonan served in the upper chamber for three terms, from 1995 to 2013, and spent many years on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will hold confirmation hearings and then vote on whether to advance the nominee to the full Senate for a confirmation vote.

Kyl also has close ties to many of his colleagues from his time as the No. 2 Senate Republican leader.

After leaving Congress, Kyl went to work at the law firm Covington & Burling LLP.

Kyl lobbied on behalf of the conservative group Judicial Crisis Network last year during the confirmation battle for the president’s first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, according to federal disclosures. The group paid Covington more than $200,000 in a roughly two-month span.
 
Trump is set to announce his nominee during a prime-time television event at the White House at 9 p.m. Eastern. 

The Trump administration has relied on Kyl once before to navigate a tough confirmation battle: He served as sherpa for Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump reignites court fight with Ninth Circuit pick Democrats press Nadler to hold Lewandowski in contempt Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' MORE, who faced tough questions about his civil rights record and hard-line stance on immigration.

Former Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteGOP fears Trump backlash in suburbs Trump makes rare trip to Clinton state, hoping to win back New Hampshire Key endorsements: A who's who in early states MORE (R-N.H.) served as a sherpa for Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

Megan R. Wilson contributed.