Trump’s Judicial Adviser Names Four Potential Supreme Court Nominees

Marsha Scott
July 3, 2018

Trump is moving quickly to fill the vacancy that will be created when Justice Anthony M. Kennedy retires from the court July 31.

With Trump saying he'll pick from a list of 25 potential nominees he's compiled with guidance from conservatives, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said any of them would be "virtually certain" to favor overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that affirmed women's right to abortion.

"There is keen interest in those two, but there are at least a couple of others who are still very seriously in the mix", said the person.

Collins also said Sunday that she has urged the president to expand his list of potential nominees, as there are a number of people on the list she believes do not respect judicial precedent.

Abortion is not the only key issue Nelson worries about with a new Supreme Court justice. A lot of them similarly have a record of speaking of the importance of precedent. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, moderate Republicans who support access to abortion services and aren't up for re-election, making it less likely either will feel pressure to be in lockstep with the polarizing president. The White House had no immediate comment on the report. Kennedy served as a swing vote and voted in favor both same-sex marriage and Obamacare.

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Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News senior judicial analyst, who has often challenged some of the president's wilder claims and those made by his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, explained that Chief Justice John Roberts and his views on what kind of role the nation's highest court should play would likely keep the landmark decision on abortion intact. "If he picks someone who is hardcore on Roe v. Wade or hardcore on repealing health care that's a bigger lift". Kennedy announced his retirement Wednesday, in part to give the Senate time to consider a nominee and hold votes before the midterm elections in November.

Asked whether he's advocating for a woman for the slot, [Weekly Standard editor Bill] Kristol said: "Not sure if it's a good idea but suspect Trump may think it's a good idea - Just speculating Trump might be inclined toward that, especially since [Republican Senator Susan] Collins and [Republican Senator Lisa] Murkowski are two of the obvious possible defectors".

Front-runners, according to two people familiar with the process, include D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh, 7th Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett, and Thomas Hardiman, who was a finalist to be Trump's first high court appointee as well as a fellow judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals with Trump's sister, Maryanne Trump Barry.

Such a judge, she said, "would not be acceptable to me because that would indicate an activist agenda". Even Leonard Leo of the conservative Federalist Society, who is advising Trump on his Court pick, has noted the importance of precedent.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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