WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy said on Tuesday that any of the possible Supreme Court nominees now being considered by President Barack Obama would win Senate confirmation.
Leahy, a Democrat, declined to identify or say how many possible candidates are on Obama's list. But the senator told Reuters: "I guarantee you, the people the president is thinking about -- anyone of them will get through."
An influential Republican, Senator Orrin Hatch, told of Leahy's comment, replied: "That's probably true. (But) it depends on who it is. I can't see the president deliberately provoking a fight over this." Hatch is on the Judiciary Committee.
Earlier on Tuesday, the White House announced it had invited key Senate Republicans and Democrats, including Leahy, to meet with Obama next week to discuss selection of a nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, a liberal.
Leahy, who as judiciary committee chairman will preside over the eventual nominee's confirmation hearing, said he aims to get the person confirmed by the full Senate and on the court before the Senate's August recess.
"We will get this done," Leahy said. "The nominee will be confirmed by the summer."
(Writing and reporting by Thomas Ferraro, editing by Jackie Frank)