In the wake of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement - and in light of Trump's vow to replace him with someone who would overturn Roe v. Wade - all eyes are on Susan Collins, a Republican senator with pro-choice leanings who could help reject an anti-abortion nominee.
"I would not support a nominee who would demonstrate hostility to Roe v. Wade", she said.
Trump has said he will pick a nominee by July 9 from a list of 25 judges.
Trump said he expects to meet with two or three additional candidates, and that an announcement is planned for next Monday.
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Democratic politicians and liberal groups have said they assume that all those on Trump's list of potential candidates would overturn Roe v. Wade, given that Trump has said he will only consider such candidates.
Sri Srinivasan, a judge on the DC circuit court of appeals, came closest to be named but lost in one-to-one toss up in 2016, when President Barack Obama went with Merrick Garland, whose nomination was blocked by a Republican-controlled U.S. senate.
It's true elections have consequences, but the disjunction between the Senate majority that produces a very conservative court, on one hand, and, on the other, the public, derives in large part from lesser-populated red states providing a cushion for Republicans in the Senate (and hence the court) and the electoral college.
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White House counsel Don McGahn will lead the overall selection and confirmation process, the White House said. Asked about the call, White House spokesman Raj Shah said: "Yesterday, the President spoke on the phone with Sen". Gorsuch, the first Supreme Court pick that Trump was able to get confirmed, is seen as sharing former Associate Justice Antonin Scalia's view "that Roe v. Wade and its successor Planned Parenthood v. Casey were incorrectly decided and should be overturned", according to Kate Shaw, an ABC News contributor and a Cardozo School of Law professor who was interviewed about the issue in 2017.
But two advisers familiar with the White House's strategy told the Herald that the focus would be more on moderate Senate Democrats up for re-election: Sens. Kennedy was frequently the swing vote on issues from abortion to gay rights to crime and punishment, and his replacement is likely to shift the court significantly to the right. If Collins and Murkowski join the Democrats in voting against Trump's nomination, that would be a 49-51 loss for Trump - and a pro-abortion victory by a simple majority in the Senate. Eighty percent of Democrats opposed Trump nominating a judge who would make abortion illegal and 66 percent of independents said the same. The four that have been one a smaller shortlist than the one Trump used to select Neil Gorsuch to the apex court earlier. Despite a history of calling women "fat pigs", "dogs", "slobs" and "disgusting animals", the president rewards female conquerers, opting for allies in the mold of Daenerys Targaryen-comparisons are already being made between Barrett and veteran Justice Elena Kagan.
Several of the women anxious about Trump's tweets and about new restrictions on clinics that perform abortions.
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