Trump says he'll name high court pick on July 9

Anthony Kennedy

Anthony Kennedy

He responded, "That's not a question I'll be asking".

Kennedy, who turns 82 in July and is the second-oldest justice on the nine-member court, has become one of the most consequential American jurists since joining the court in 1988 as an appointee of Republican President Ronald Reagan.

The Supreme Court job is for life.

"The right to access abortion in this country is on the line", Dawn Laguens, the executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement. The Senate votes to confirm or deny judicial candidates for federal courts, including Supreme Court nominees.

Nearly as soon as Kennedy's retirement was announced, several anti-abortion rights groups seized on the moment. In 2013, McConnell, then minority leader, cautioned Democrat Harry Reid not to invoke the "nuclear option" - lowering the vote threshold for confirmation of judges and Cabinet officials from 60 to 51 votes. "It's not a precedent I agree with, or agreed with, but we should expect that he be consistent".

"He has been a crucial vote in landmark reproductive rights cases", Northup said.

Trump on Friday told reporters he'd narrowed his list down to five.

Trump's list was assembled with the input of conservative legal activists who also touted Gorsuch for the previous court vacancy.

Both sides are gearing up for a confirmation battle in the Senate after Trump names his nominee.

Trump said he would begin the selection process with a list of 25 conservative candidates. "It will be cast as a pretty pivotal vote on the court on this issue and many, many others".

"Senator Collins does not apply ideological litmus tests to nominees", Clark said.




But the centerpiece of the GOP plan was McConnell's refusal to hold hearings for Garland after Justice Antonin Scalia's death in February 2016.

What's becoming clear, though, is that to win over some of the senators, the administration will need to steer away from a nominee with widely and publicly shared personal views on abortion or overturning Roe vs. Wade.

"People for a generation have taken it for granted", he said.

While polling on abortion is hard and yields mixed results depending on how the questions are asked, multiple polls suggest a majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal in at least some cases, particularly in early pregnancy.

He was among several senators who met Thursday with Trump at the White House.

Iowa's "heartbeat" law prohibits doctors from performing an abortion if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can happen as early as six weeks, with exceptions in the case of certain instances of rape, incest or medical emergency.

In Arkansas, a legal battle is now playing out over a law that imposes limitations on access to medication-induced abortions. Other states, including MS and Louisiana, have banned abortion at 15 weeks' gestation, and others have prohibited specific methods.

This position is consistent with her support for Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, who is seen as being pro-life. "The idea of Trump having his choice to fill another vacancy is terrifying for not only abortion rights, but for our ability to live free from discrimination in this country".

"If he picks somebody that's hardcore on Roe v. Wade or that's hardcore on repealing healthcare that's a bigger lift", Manchin said.

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

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

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