President Donald Trump said he feels "honored" that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy chose to retire while Trump was in office.
"He felt confident in me to make the right choice and carry on his great legacy," Trump said at a rally in Fargo, North Dakota, on Wednesday night.
After 30 years on the bench, Kennedy announced Wednesday he's retiring from the high court late next month. Trump said the process to find a replacement for Kennedy will "begin immediately."
"We have to pick a great one. We have to pick one that's going to be there for 40 years, 45 years," Trump said.
Two unnamed U.S. officials told Bloomberg that Brett Kavanaugh, a federal appellate court judge in Washington, D.C., is a frontrunner for the nomination. Kavanaugh was one of Kennedy's former law clerks.
News outlets say other top contenders include Thomas Hardiman, who serves on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and was the runner-up for Gorsuch's seat, and Amy Coney Barrett, who Trump nominated to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year.
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.