Published: Sun, July 01, 2018
Research | By Clarence Powell

Supreme Court fight in the spotlight — Sunday shows preview

Supreme Court fight in the spotlight — Sunday shows preview

President Donald Trump plans to announce his pick to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on July 9.

It's been less than a week since Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court, but already anti-women activists are plotting how best to take advantage of a weakened judicial branch in order to undermine access to safe abortions. He voted on the winning side of close decisions 76 percent of the time over his career, far more often than any other justice he served with except for Justice Neil Gorsuch, who joined the court previous year. "As I said, I'm looking specifically at two women".

And there are two laws on hold by injunction and now in US appeals court - one from Alabama and one from Texas - either of which would effectively outlaw the vast majority of abortions after 14 weeks, says Elizabeth Nash, who leads research on state policy on reproductive rights for the Guttmacher Institute.

Speaking to reporters during an Oval Office meeting with Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Trump said he would draw from a list of 25 potential court candidates that his campaign had assembled during his presidential run.

"They're smart and tapped into the conservative legal community", he said.

Trump's nominee must win confirmation by the Senate.

The strategy mirrors one Mr Trump has been pursuing for appointments to the lower courts, where younger than normal judges have often been selected.

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Trump did mention another potential candidate, Sen. Also attending were Republican Charles Grassley and Democrats Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly and Heidi Heitkamp.

The other senator who met with Trump, Republican Charles Grassley, is chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which will consider any Trump choice.

Trump on Friday told reporters he'd narrowed his list down to five.

All five have spoken at Federalist Society events. Mike Lee, Utah Republican, who is an attorney but not a judge.

One factor that eases the immediate political pressure on both senators: Collins is not up for re-election until 2020; Murkowski in 2022.

Republicans changed Senate rules past year to get Trump's conservative nominee Neil Gorsuch confirmed, lowering the threshold to advance Supreme Court nominations to a simple majority vote. "But the problem you face is, you have to make sure you have the Senate", one source said.

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