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

Trump to make Supreme Court pick July 9

Trump to make Supreme Court pick July 9

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, effective July 31, at the close of the term this week.

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".

"I've got it down to about five", Trump said, including two women. But now, with the news that Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is retiring, Trump has a chance to do something much bigger: He cannot only preserve but also expand the court's conservative majority.

Trump said he not will push the candidates to say whether they would overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which established a woman's right to abortion.

In an interview with Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo that will air Sunday, though, the president said he "probably" wouldn't ask candidates about how they'd vote on the case.

Trump already has a list of potential court nominees and McConnell has signaled 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. Mike Lee, who is the one non-judge on the list.

Trump said he would speak with one or two candidates, and plans to announce his selection on Monday, July 9.

Whatever Trump said during his campaign, Leo said abortion did not come up in the president's interviews with prospective nominees when he chose Justice Neil Gorsuch previous year.

Trump met senators from both parties at the White House on Thursday to discuss the court vacancy.

The meeting also included Republican Sens. Trump welcomed Republicans Chuck Grassley, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Democrats Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly and Heidi Heitkamp as part of the effort.

By picking a social conservative to replace Kennedy, Trump would have a reliable 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court, even on some of those hot-button social issues.

The strategy mirrors one Mr Trump has been pursuing for appointments to the lower courts, where younger than normal judges have often been selected. "He believes deeply in the Supreme Court", said George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley.

But thanks to the Democrats' imprudent decisions to break precedent and change Senate rules to confirm lifetime appointments to the federal circuit court under President Barack Obama, and then to filibuster Gorsuch, Senate Republicans need only a simple majority to confirm Trump's choice. An affiliated group began running ads Thursday in 10 states that Trump won in 2016 where Democratic senators are now up for re-election.

With a little over a week before his big announcement, Trump is relishing the moment. The current record for longest service on the Supreme Court is held by William O. Douglas, who served for 36 years from 1939 to 1975.

Kennedy played a similar role for many years - his votes on gay rights, abortion, the death penalty, the environment, voting rights and affirmative action basically determined the outcome of cases on which the court was divided between liberals and conservatives.

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