Published: Tue, July 03, 2018
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Supreme Court change may limit, not kill, abortion rights

Supreme Court change may limit, not kill, abortion rights

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., a potential presidential candidate in 2020 said, "President Trump has told you he's going to nominate someone who will get rid of Roe v. Wade".

President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump and their son Barron Trump, arrive at Morristown Municipal Airport, in Morristown, N.J., Friday, June 29, 2018.

If Republicans unite behind Mr Trump's selection, there is little Democrats can do to stop it. Republicans changed the senate rules previous year so that supreme court nominees cannot be filibustered, meaning only 51 votes will be required for confirmation.

"The president has never asked a prospective nominee about Roe v. Wade or abortion in any way shape or form".

Such a dramatic ruling may not be immediately likely, but a more conservative court might be more willing to sustain abortion restrictions.

Kennedy, a key swing vote on the court, announced Wednesday that he would retire this summer.

"I like them all", he said. Trump already has a list of potential court nominees and McConnell has signalled he wants to have a justice confirmed by October, which would be before the midterm election - even though Democrats are pushing to delay it until after voters have cast ballots in November.

Other names on Trump's shortlist reportedly include former Kennedy clerk Raymond Kethledge; Amul Thapar, the preferred choice of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; and Sen.

Steven Law, president of the Senate Leadership Fund, a campaign group aligned with McConnell, said the group is running digital ads in 10 states that Trump won in 2016 where Democratic senators are now up for re-election.

A onetime supporter of abortion rights, Trump attracted support from social conservatives during the presidential campaign in large part because of his strong opposition to abortion.

Republicans now hold a bare 51-49 majority in the Senate, although that includes the ailing Senator John McCain of Arizona.

Heitkamp said the president should think about a nominee who could unite, rather than divide, the country. They were the only Democrats to have voted for Trump's first Supreme Court selection, Neil Gorsuch.

"It's a great group of intellectual talent", Trump said. He's never discussed the issue with me.

Prominent on the list of possible successors are Judges Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania and William Pryor of Alabama, who was seriously considered for the seat eventually filled by Justice Gorsuch, and Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who serves on the federal appeals court in Washington.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said Kennedy's retirement sets up a situation where "women's lives are at risk". "Hopefully in time for the new justice to begin the fall term of the Supreme Court".

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