With just four months until the midterm elections, when any Democratic gains in the Senate would jeopardize a Trump nominee, the White House is working with Senate Republican leaders to set a rapid timeline for voting on a nominee by October so they can take advantage of the GOP’s razor-thin majority in the chamber. Trump and senior White House officials already are personally lobbying key senators, laboring to till the ground ahead of what is expected to be a ferocious nomination battle.

“Outside of war and peace, of course, the most important decision you make is the selection of a Supreme Court judge,” the president told reporters Friday.