Trump to move quickly on Supreme Court nominee

Fmr Clinton Aide Implies Justice Kennedy Made Court Decisions Based on Relationship with Trump

President Trump said he is interviewing six or seven people and plans to announce his choice to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on July 9.

FILE PHOTO: Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy speaks during a swearing in ceremony for Judge Neil Gorsuch as an associate justice of the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, U.S., April 10, 2017.

They include judges Amy Coney Barrett, 46, the most talked-about woman on the list; Thomas Hardiman, 52, the runner-up to Gorsuch past year; Raymond Kethledge, 51, another former Kennedy clerk; and Amul Thapar, 49, a favorite of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Asked if he planned to question potential court nominees their views on abortion rights and Roe v. Wade, he responded, "That's not a question I'll be asking".

That spring, McConnell repeatedly cited a nonexistent Senate "tradition" of not considering Supreme Court nominees during a president's a year ago in office.

"If we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that's really what's going to be, that's what will happen", Trump said at the final presidential debate in October 2016.

The Senate is bracing for Trump to announce a quick nominee as soon as July 10.

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.

Trump spent Wednesday night in North Dakota, rallying in favor of Heitkamp's challenger, and telling attendees that Heikamp "will vote "no" to any pick we make for the Supreme Court", according to an NBC News account of the event.

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All of Trump's potential choices have been vetted by the conservative Federalist Society, he promised during the campaign, and all are relatively young. And she voted against Obama's Supreme Court nominees, Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

Still, a more conservative court may be more willing to chip away at abortion rights by upholding state restrictions that Kennedy and the four liberal justices would have been likely to strike down.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said Kennedy's retirement sets up a situation where "women's lives are at risk". Mike Lee - and has said he would choose a nominee from that list. You know, usually, they don't say that.

He met Thursday with key Republican and Democratic senators at the White House in the evening to discuss the vacancy.

With a 51-to-49 majority in the Senate and control of the White House, Republicans have the power to fill Kennedy's seat no matter what Democrats do to try to block Trump's nominee.

But the battle could pose challenges to both parties in the near term, particularly Senate Democrats running for re-election in states Trump won in 2016.

Trump appeared to be excited on Wednesday about the new opportunity to reshape the federal judiciary in a conservative direction.

"There is no doubt that the President's nominee to succeed Justice Kennedy can expect exacting scrutiny from the Senate and that is the standard I will apply in evaluating the nominee", she said. Trump is also considering Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amul Thapar, who could become the first Indian American to serve on the Supreme Court.

The 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide won't be overturned automatically, nor without a fight.

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