Trump to announce Supreme Court pick on July 9

Anti-abortion advocates rally outside of the Supreme Court during the March for Life

After U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement on Wednesday, Trump told reporters that his nominee to replace Kennedy would come from an expanded list of favorites, first put out by the White House in November 2017.

Trump confirmed later on Air Force One that did not plan to ask potential candidates specifically about their views on Roe v. Wade, adding that he might conduct a few interviews over the weekend, while at his golf club in Bedminster Township, New Jersey.

The two senators have voted on five of the most recent Supreme Court justices, with Collins serving as a reliable "yes" while Murkowski rejected both of President Barack Obama's nominees: Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

Collins, meanwhile, declared that the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that codified abortion rights is "settled law".

"I'm not going to ask them that question". Now President Donald Trump will have the opportunity to place a more solidly conservative judge in Kennedy's place, tilting the nation's highest bench further in favor of Republicans.

A White House spokeswoman said Thursday that Trump wants to measure whether Putin is even interested in improving frosty relations between the two Cold War rivals.

Many believe one female candidate could be U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

A sign that the White House is also focusing on these Democrats: Sen. Mike Lee. According to Bloomberg, three inside sources are saying that Trump has been asking his staff about the pros and cons of nominating Lee. Dianne Feinstein, Calif., who as the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee will lead her party's scrutiny of Trump's nominee. He met Thursday with key Republican and Democratic senators at the White House in the evening to discuss the vacancy.

The Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative political campaign organization, has launched a seven-figure ad buy aimed at vulnerable Democrats, said chief counsel and policy director Carrie Severino. Thomas Lee is a judge on the Utah Supreme Court.

During the Gorsuch nomination, the White House took great pains to keep the public guessing on Trump's final choice, whisking Gorsuch to Washington on a military jet and having him stay quietly with friends, away from hotels.

"We'd be very happy if he'd pick any name on that list", said Severino. "What we're seeing here is Gorsuch 2.0".

Trump is expected to announce his nominee within a few weeks.

"Part of me says I would like to see it after the election because I think it will just fuel the turnout and have more participation in the election", Perkins said.

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