Trump's Supreme Court search begins, with youth a key factor

04 July, 2018, 06:36 | Author: Dwayne Harmon
  • Trump has chance to reshape Supreme Court

Headlines this week were dominated by news that Justice Anthony Kennedy, a swing vote on the Supreme Court, will retire next month and that a man has been charged with killing five people at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis.

The president says he is considering two women among a group of at least five potential candidates for the nation's high court.

Ninety percent of Democrats said the vacancy would make them more likely to vote for a Democratic Senate candidate in the November 6 election, compared with 81 percent of Republicans who said the issue would make them more likely to vote for a Senate candidate from their party.

Conservative activists have long dreamed of building a firmly conservative majority on the court that would push to overturn the landmark 1973 ruling in the case Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide.

"He felt confident in me to make the right choice and carry on his great legacy, that's why he did it", Trump said at a campaign rally in Fargo.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, 47, a member of the Senate that must confirm Trump's nominee, is also under consideration, aides said.

Trump's opportunity to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who had voted to uphold Roe in 1992, is "exactly what we had hoped for", said Jim Carlin, an Iowa Republican state senator.

Still, it is clear from statements, news conferences, interviews and in speeches on the Senate floor, McConnell consistently and specifically said that "the presidential election process" - and not "a lame-duck president" - should decide the next Supreme Court justice.

With the White House reeling after a week's worth of heart-wrenching images of forced family separations at the southern border, the court's support for the travel ban gave Trump a welcome boost and is sure to embolden him in pressing hard-line immigration policies heading into the midterms.

"We should be able to work our way through the confirmation process sometime before early fall", McConnell told Fox News Thursday.

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Trump's first pick for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, is the youngest of the justices at age 50.

Joshua Henne, a Democratic strategist, said abortion would rise in importance among voters as people began to understand the stakes of the Supreme Court battle. But I'll tell you what: "good woman", Trump said then. He went so far as to release a list of his possible nominees before the election to reassure conservatives he would pick a reliable conservative and to reinforce how importantly he viewed the decision to fill any vacancy.

"Anything that we can do to soften the blow of Roe v. Wade or weaken it or dilute it, it's up to us to do that", said Lawrence Bagley, a Louisiana Republican state representative.

MS and Louisiana recently passed legislation banning abortion after 15 weeks with limited exceptions.

Kavanaugh is a Roman Catholic who opposes abortion rights. "You know, usually they don't say that".

"Democrats want judges who will rewrite the Constitution any way they can do it, and take away your Second Amendment, erase your borders, throw open your jailhouse doors and destroy your freedoms", Trump said.

But states have a patchwork of laws, with red states tending to pass more restrictive abortion ones.

"I think inevitably we're going to come up with something that I believe the Supreme Court is going to have to take a look at again", the GOP lawmaker added.

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



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