White House builds Supreme Court confirmation team

Marsha Scott
July 4, 2018

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.

The advisers also said Trump does not plan to ask potential nominees whether they oppose Roe, or talk about the ongoing investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller - though issues surrounding that investigation, including whether the president can be subpoenaed or indicted, could land before the court. "The Department of Justice is fully engaged to support the nomination and confirmation efforts".

Trump has said he would announce his nominee on July 9 and has reportedly been busy reading the writings and background material of some of the prospective candidates.

But the eventual nominee already faces a hurdle: Republicans hold a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate, and Sen. Cory Booker saying there should be no nominee until after Robert Mueller ends his Russian Federation probe.

President Trump is unlikely to ask his Supreme Court nominee their position on overturning Roe v. Wade, he told Fox News Sunday morning, but said that abortion rights "could very well end up" being determined by the states following Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement.

The White House also announced Monday that the overall confirmation process would be led by White House counsel Donald McGahn, as it was during the process that led to the successful confirmation a year ago of Justice Neil Gorsuch.

"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.

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For Collins, who will be a key vote, it comes down to upholding precedent.

Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director of the Judicial Crisis Network, said she did not think picking a woman was "the top concern" of Trump, stressing judicial philosophy and experience. She emphasized that there were certain people on Trump's candidate list that she wouldn't vote for, though she didn't specify who those people were.

The move is part of a broader push by the White House to rapidly confirm a replacement for Kennedy before the court's new term begins in October.

It's President Donald Trump's second year in the oval office and the second time he'll be naming a Supreme Court nominee.

"One of the few ways that a Trump nominee could fail to be confirmed is if you get one of the two - here they are on the screen, if you lose one of the two Republican senators, Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski, were both pro-choice". John McCain, R-Ariz., is out as he battles brain cancer. Vice President Mike Pence can break a tie.

For now, the liberal groups have launched a campaign against all candidates on Mr.Trump's list.

The president teased Lee over his public statements about the nomination. The appointments flipped the makeup of the nation's lower courts.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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