Trump says he’ll announce Supreme Court pick July 9

ASSOCIATED PRESS           President Donald Trump speaks to reporters onboard Air Force One on his way to Bedminster N.J. today

ASSOCIATED PRESS President Donald Trump speaks to reporters onboard Air Force One on his way to Bedminster N.J. today

With a second Supreme Court pick less than 18 months into his presidency, Donald Trump is poised to cement conservative control of the court and fire up supporters eager for a rightward shift on divisive social issues.

After nominating Neil Gorsuch to fill a Supreme Court vacancy in January 2017, Trump appointed three judges who had previously clerked for Kennedy to federal appeals courts, and he included another two on the shortlist to fill any subsequent vacancies on the Supreme Court, The Times reported. Trump says as many as seven candidates may be interviewed.

Trump told reporters Friday he would not ask potential nominees their views on abortion rights and Roe v. Wade.

The poll, which was conducted on Thursday and Friday, found that abortion ranked a distant fourth when respondents were asked to list the issue of most concern to them among several that could come before the court.

"We're the closest we've ever been to overturning Roe v. Wade", a woman says in a video released online by the group Students for Life of America shortly after the news broke.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said he hoped the confirmation process would be done "in time for the new justice to begin the fall term of the Supreme Court" by the first Monday in October.

Those victories, coupled with Kennedy's retirement, could embolden the administration's lawyers, who are facing legal challenges on multiple fronts, including over Trump's move to separate families who enter the United States illegally and his plan to rescind protections for "Dreamers", young adults brought to he country illegally as children.

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

Both Connecticut's US senators are urging Democrats to resist the appointment of a new Supreme Court justice until after November's elections. On Friday, Trump reassured reporters that he would discuss USA interests in the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, and would certainly raise the issue of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Murkowski isn't rated as favorably among abortion rights groups, she has a 58-percent vote rating in 2018 from Planned Parenthood, but arguably there is no one in the Senate more independent than the Alaska Republican, and prouder of her reputation among women in her state.

Age tends to be important to presidents because they want their nominees to serve for the longest possible length of time. She points to what's known as a "heartbeat bill" in Iowa, where state lawmakers recently approved one of the strictest abortion laws in the nation. Other states, including MS and Louisiana, have banned abortion at 15 weeks' gestation, and others have prohibited specific methods.

"You see this over and over again and it's the usual rank speculation", Leo said.

In Arkansas, a legal battle is now playing out over a law that imposes limitations on access to medication-induced abortions.

Kavanaugh is a Roman Catholic who opposes abortion rights.

"The fact that there's a modest enthusiasm disadvantage isn't all that meaningful because there's already an enthusiasm gap for Republicans", he said, noting Democratic anger toward Trump.

"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.

There are ten Democratic senators up for re-election in 2018 in states that Trump won in 2016.

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