Trump narrows down Supreme Court judge candidates

Michael Brochstein  SOPA Images  LightRocket via Getty Images

Kennedy played a similar role for many years - his votes on gay rights, abortion, the death penalty, the environment, voting rights and affirmative action basically determined the outcome of cases on which the court was divided between liberals and conservatives. The president is expected to announce his nomination to replace Kennedy soon.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said this week "the Senate should follow the rule they set in 2016 not to consider a Supreme Court nominee in an election year", and that failing to follow that principle would be the "height of hypocrisy".

A recent example of this debate arose on Wednesday, when Politico reported on a behind-the-scenes promise that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made to GOP leaders. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, two moderates whose support of the eventual nominee may be required in a Senate that breaks 51-49 Republican.

The president's standing with white evangelical Christians hit an all-time high in April when 75 percent of evangelicals held a favorable view of Trump, according to a poll conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute. She has also been a reliable defender of federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides health care services to thousands of Alaskans.

At the White House, the senators took turns meeting with Trump.

The candidates recently added to Trump's list include Barrett, Kavanaugh, Georgia Supreme Court Justice Britt Grant, Kevin Newsom of the 11th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals and Patrick Wyrick of the Oklahoma Supreme Court. But victory for Democrats like Joe Manchin of West Virginia (whose state went for Trump by 42 points) and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota (Trump by 36 points) are relying on ticket-splitting at an anachronistic level we've haven't seen in a while.

That warning has operated as a powerful logic for religious conservatives in elections for more than 30 years.

"Hopefully, in time for the new justice to begin the fall term of the Supreme Court", which begins in October, he said. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Democrats had focused on Flake as their best hope to stall Trump's Supreme Court pick.

For all his votes on the conservative side of issues, Roberts has had his critics on the right. When it comes to the Supreme Court fight, that list is quickly culled to just three for one reason: they are the only Democrats who voted to confirm Gorsuch in 2017 - Indiana Sen. Of the members of the current court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the only justice to join the court after celebrating a 60th birthday.

During his campaign, Mr Trump promised to deliver "pro-life" judges to the Supreme Court - a prospect that has alarmed women's rights groups. It is typical for judicial nominees to avoid stating any outright preferences for specific rulings on possible future cases. "I like them all", he said, calling the narrowed selections a group of "highly talented, very brilliant, mostly conservative judges". "I said I'm not going to do it".

The president has met privately with a handful of lawmakers who could decide the fate of his nomination.

In 2012, Murkowski voted in favor of an amendment by Sen. For the loser of the popular vote to then be allowed to place justices on the court, when his popularly-elected predecessor was denied that right, you breed cynicism, you invite anger.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) said Thursday the upcoming fight over President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee was about whether the country would "criminalize women". "We trust that she will" again.

But Trump said he would not directly probe the candidates about their position on the Roe v. Wade decision.

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