Trump pledges July 9 announcement on Supreme Court nominee

Doug Carpenter
July 1, 2018

The Senate's top Republican leader says he's confident President Donald Trump's choice for the Supreme Court will be confirmed in the narrowly divided chamber.

Though he may meet with one or two candidates during his stay at his golf club in New Jersey this weekend, "I'll probably interview six or seven" candidates altogether, Trump said. But Republican Senator John McCain, who has an aggressive form of brain cancer, has been absent from the Senate for months, meaning that if all Senate Democrats vote against Trump's eventual nominee, it would take only one Republican defection to defeat his pick.

Speaking to reporters during an Oval Office meeting with Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Trump said he would draw from a list of 25 potential court candidates that his campaign had assembled during his presidential run. Gorsuch cleared the Senate - only after McConnell pushed through a rules change to end the filibuster on Supreme Court nominees and lower the threshold for confirmation from 60 to a simple majority - with 54 votes. "And because he's going to have the chance to appoint two Supreme Court justices".

He said Democratic senators running for reelection in conservative states, like West Virginia and in, face a "lose-lose" scenario: Risk angering their base voters by supporting Trump's pick, or vote no and harm their chances among the Republicans and moderates they still need to win.

Kennedy, who was nominated to the bench by President Ronald Reagan, earned praise from both parties for the weight he put on the rights to privacy, dignity and freedom of speech.

Kennedy's announcement came after the close of the Supreme Court's latest term and was no surprise to court watchers.

Many liberals fear that with Kennedy gone, a Trump replacement will ensure that eventually Roe v. Wade will be overturned. Trump welcomed Republicans Chuck Grassley, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Democrats Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly and Heidi Heitkamp as part of the effort.

In the run-up to selecting Gorsuch, Trump met with three contenders and White House officials vetted several more. The Senate votes to confirm or deny judicial candidates for federal courts, including Supreme Court nominees.

"It is exciting though, right?" said Trump.

In a tweet today, the president said he will be making his choice for supreme court justice on July 9th.

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