Trump considering two women for Supreme Court; will announce pick July 9

Richard Lazarus

Richard Lazarus

President Donald Trump tells reporters aboard Air Force One he plans to announce his choice to succeed retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on July 9. In addition to the announcement of Kennedy's retirement, two candidates he had endorsed, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and Rep. Dan Donovan, of NY, prevailed in primaries Tuesday.

Kennedy personally delivered his retirement letter to the White House on Wednesday afternoon, after he told his fellow justices of his plans.

The president said that the five possible nominees included two women. The president wants conservatives on the federal judiciary not just in the coming years, but in the coming decades.

"Our Republican colleagues in the Senate should follow the rule they set in 2016: Not to consider a Supreme Court justice in an election year", said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Gorsuch was the youngest nominee since Clarence Thomas, who was 43 when confirmed in 1991. He said he planned to interview one or two of them this weekend in Bedminster, N.J., where he is spending time with family at his private golf course. Of the members of the current court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the only justice to join the court after celebrating a 60th birthday. Trump has also appointed 20 District Court judges. The 53-year-old appeals court judge is a former clerk for Kennedy.

Trump's list was assembled with the input of conservative legal activists who also touted Gorsuch for the previous court vacancy.

The three Democrats have broken with their party when it comes to some of Trump's most important nominations.

His retirement, which takes effect on 31 July, gives Mr Trump a second Supreme Court appointment in his 17 months in office after he selected Neil Gorsuch past year, who has already become one of the most conservative justices. The key races that will determine who controls the Senate next year will largely be fought in 10 states that Donald Trump carried in 2016 but that now have Democratic incumbents up for re-election.

White House aides said other names are in the mix as well.

The 2015 state law says that any physician who "gives, sells, dispenses, administers, or otherwise provides or prescribes the abortion-inducing drug" shall have to have a contract with a physician who has admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

"No matter how I vote there are going to be people who are furious at me", Collins said.

Many White House allies see Brett Kavanaugh as the favorite.

Senators, particularly Democratic ones, are warning the president that he should consult with lawmakers before making a choice. Donnelly went in first to meet with the president and reported afterward they had a productive conversation. The strength of her victory was fueled by support among Alaska women, which has become part of Murkowski's brand.

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin says it would be tough to support someone who would revamp the landmark decision. "Some people think outside of, obviously, war and peace, it's the most important thing that you could have". Trump asked Manchin, the senator recalled.

"All that stuff is red flags for all Americans", Manchin said, adding he told the president he told the president the same about repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Asked by Fox's Maria Bartiromo whether he would ask potential nominees how they might come down on Roe v. Wade, Trump said: "Well, that's a big one". He said those topics are "inappropriate to discuss".

"What I most liked about Justice Kennedy is he did not identify with any ideological bloc on the court but rather was a justice who evaluated every case, not ideologically, but based on its merits and adherence to the law and the Constitution", Collins said.

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