Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Things to know about abortion and the Supreme Court

Sen. Susan Collins R Maine and Sen. Lisa Murkowski R-Alaska left are shown during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington. The Senate battle over Donald Trump's new Supreme Court nominee is off Things to know about abortion and the Supreme Court
Charlie Simmons | 04 July, 2018, 01:21

Trump's second Supreme Court pick will replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Ronald Reagan appointee who has served as a swing vote on the court. Kennedy often sided with more liberal justices on issues like abortion and gay rights.

Trump said he was working from a list of 25 conservative nominees the White House released last November, and the Center has requested disclosures for all of them. Susan Collins (R-Maine), in the hopes that they could sway one of their votes based on their support of abortion rights.

In the Oval Office on Monday, he said the "four potential justices" he met that morning were "incredible people in so many different ways".

Such a judge, she said, "would not be acceptable to me because that would indicate an activist agenda". On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. criticized the record of U.S. Appeals Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett of IN, who is one of seven judges considered to be front-runners.

The four candidates interviewed so far, first reported by the Above the Law blog, are all federal appeals court judges whose names appear on a list of 25 supreme court prospects published a year ago by the White House. She is also a devout Catholic with seven children, and her religious beliefs came up in last year's confirmation hearing for her current post. Trump said while running for president that he would nominate "pro-life" justices to the Court, but it's not exactly clear how pro-life they have to be.

Trump is expected to begin his search in earnest this week at the White House and said the process could include interviews at his golf club before he reaches a final decision following the Fourth of July holiday.

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Both Chief Justice John Roberts and Gorsuch have indicated broadly that they respect legal precedent.

Before his selection past year of Neil Gorsuch to replace deceased justice Antonin Scalia, Trump interviewed multiple candidates including Thomas M Hardiman, who serves on the third circuit court of appeals alongside Trump's sister, Maryanne Trump Barry. That judicial approach typically involves a more literal interpretation of the Constitution as compared to broader rulings such as Roe.

This is despite a slim 51-49 majority in the 100-member Senate, and one of two pro-choice Republicans expressing concerns about Trump's potential selection from a list culled with the help of conservative organizations the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation.

Trump also spoke about recent comments made by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) calling for people to harass Trump officials in public and said that between those comments and the increasing number of Democrats calling to abolish ICE, he thinks Democrats will "never win another election".

And in an interview with CNN's State of the Union on Sunday, Collins went a step further, stating she would not back a justice who wanted to overturn Roe v. Wade.

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