Trump’s Judicial Adviser Names Four Potential Supreme Court Nominees

Joshua Roberts  Reuters

Joshua Roberts Reuters

Also on that list was Bob Young, a retired Michigan Supreme Court justice who briefly ran for U.S. Senate before taking on a role as Michigan State University's general counsel.

Making his second Supreme Court appointment less than 18 months into his presidency will let Trump cement conservative control of the court for years to come. Trump said past year he'd asked for input from the Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation on potential Supreme Court justices; Casey called them "hard-right organizations".

Similarly, Justice Neil Gorsuch, who Trump nominated to the Court a year ago, is widely seen as a pro-life conservative. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, moderate Republicans who support access to abortion services and aren't up for re-election, making it less likely either will feel pressure to be in lockstep with the polarizing president.

The president spent the weekend at his Bedminster golf club, consulting with advisers, including White House counsel Don McGahn, as he considers his options to fill the vacancy with a justice who has the potential to be part of precedent-shattering court decisions on abortion, health care, gay marriage and other issues.

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Republican Sen. Susan Collins of ME, an abortion rights supporter, is considered one of the key votes on a nominee. "I think the person that is chosen will be outstanding". Coney Barrett, who sits on the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, is just 46 and would give Trump an opportunity to leave a long-lasting imprint on the court.

In fact, in 2017, Neil Gorsuch - Trump's first Supreme Court pick who now sits on the court - said he would have "walked out the door" had Trump asked him to overturn Roe v. Wade because "that's not what judges do". Chief Justice John Roberts, for example, wrote a brief as a Department of Justice employee in 1990 that supported overturning the ruling But during his 2006 confirmation hearing before the Senate, he said the ruling was "settled as a precedent of the Court".

"A candidate who would overturn Roe would not be acceptable", said Collins, "because I believe that they have demonstrated a disrespect for the vital principle of stare decisis". And Justin Clark, the director of the Office of Public Liaison, will oversee White House coordination with outside groups.

Trump he says he plans to meet with two to three more as he works toward a decision "over the next few days". The White House had no immediate comment on the report. The ads will start appearing on Wednesday.

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Trump says he will "probably not" ask potential nominees their thoughts on Roe v. Wade.

Judge Kavanaugh sits on Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and is a former clerk to Justice Kennedy.

And if the votes result in a tie, Vice President Pence will hold the tie-breaking vote-and his anti-abortion stance is well-known.

Collins spoke on ABC and CNN.

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