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Trump Says He Has Interviewed 4 Candidates For High Court

03 July 2018

Prior to his exit, the Republican appointees on the court delivered several key conservative rulings, including a decision to uphold Trump's travel order.

FILE - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy arrives for President Donald Trump's address to a Joint Session of Congress in Washington, Feb. 28, 2017.

Hume said if Trump loses the support of Collins and Murkowski "it's hard to believe" the Republicans would "pick up any Democrats" to achieve a majority confirming the nominee. Collins asserts that a judge who respects precedent would not overturn Roe vs. Wade. "It's clearly precedent, and I always look for judges who respect precedent".

Adding to the worries of those who support abortion access, Collins's spokesman has previously said that the senator "does not apply ideological litmus tests to nominees" when asked whether she would take a nominee's stance on Roe v. Wade into account.

The moderate Kennedy, 81, for years kept the powerful court from moving decisively into a conservative bias favored by Republicans. Napolitano explained Democrats were hoping to use the potential undoing of the decision as a means to "go against the president".

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Trump said last week that Kennedy's successor - who like all Supreme Court justices will be appointed for life - would be nominated from among a list of 25 candidates endorsed by the stridently conservative Heritage Foundation and Federalist Society.

Speaking with reporters shortly before his meeting with Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Trump said he "had a very, very interesting morning" talking with potential Supreme Court justices.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said that although Trump opposes abortion, he is not pressing the candidates on their views of specific cases.

Kennedy was 80 when he announced his retirement.

The Senate is closely divided - 51 Republicans to 49 Democrats. Such a move would likely fire up Trump supporters eager for a rightward shift on divisive social issues such as abortion and gay rights. "Susan Collins can not simultaneously say she supports Roe v. Wade and support anybody on that list; that would be quite hypocritical".

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Collins and even several Democrats agreed to back Gorsuch because they said he clearly valued legal precedent and the independence of US courts.

Kennedy's replacement would be the second justice handpicked by Trump.

However, as host Jake Tapper was quick to point out, Collins voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch, a Trump pick whose track record against women's reproductive rights includes his recent decision to side with "crisis pregnancy centers", which exist for the sole goal of convincing women to carry pregnancies to term.

Now the court has three women justices, all appointed by Democrats.

That would please Evangelical Christian voters who comprise an important part of Trump's support base.

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The Quinnipiac poll said voters wanted the high court to be a check on Trump by 65 percent to 24 percent.

Trump Says He Has Interviewed 4 Candidates For High Court