December 18, 2018

Trump names Indian-American to key role in appointment of SC justice

03 July 2018, 06:47 | Edward Lowe

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in the Oval Office of the White House Monday

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in the Oval Office of the White House Monday

Susan Collins, a key vote on President Donald Trump's pick for the Supreme Court, said Sunday she would oppose any nominee she believed would overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

"In the morning, I interviewed and met with four potential justices of our great Supreme Court", the president said.

The interviews were with federal appeals judges Raymond Kethledge, Amul Thapar, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, said a person with knowledge of the meetings who was not authorized to speak publicly about them.

FILE - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy arrives for President Donald Trump's address to a Joint Session of Congress in Washington, Feb. 28, 2017. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a campaign-season call to action for voters to prevent such a nominee by putting "pressure on the Senate", which confirms judicial nominees. Schumer argued that while Democrats are outnumbered in the narrowly divided Senate, most senators support abortion rights.

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Adding to the worries of those who support abortion access, Collins's spokesman has previously said that the senator "does not apply ideological litmus tests to nominees" when asked whether she would take a nominee's stance on Roe v. Wade into account. "The Department of Justice is fully engaged to support the nomination and confirmation efforts", Sanders said in a statement Monday.

"The president is pro-life, but in terms of the process of selecting a Supreme Court nominee... he won't discuss specific cases with those nominees".

Also, Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary Raj Shah will temporarily shift his focus to overseeing communications strategy and messaging on the confirmation process. In an unusually direct appeal to voters, he said that to block "an ideological nominee", people should "tell your senators" to oppose anyone from Trump's list.

Pro-abortion rights activists are reportedly sending Republican Sen. Even though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell changed Senate rules past year to allow confirmation by simple majority, if Democrats hold together, he can not afford defections.

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The president has a list of 25 candidates, which he said he has narrowed down to five, including two women. Collins, who appeared on ABC's "This Week" and CNN's "State of the Union", said she would only back a judge who would show respect for settled law such as the Roe decision, which has always been anathema to conservatives.

And while several Republican-led states have passed aggressive regulations and would likely be emboldened by a more conservative court, there's no guarantee how the future Supreme Court will rule.

Trump already got one of his nominees, Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, appointed to the Supreme Court during his first year in office.

Now the court has three women justices, all appointed by Democrats.

White House Won't Order Flags At Half-Staff To Honor Annapolis Newspaper Staff
Three minutes before the shooting, he tweeted an obscenity at a judge who had rejected his defamation suit against the paper. Maryland state flags were ordered to be lowered to half-staff from Friday until Monday night by Governor Larry Hogan.

In an attempt to remind Collins of how high the stakes are, women have started sending wire coat hangers to her office to serve as a visceral reminder of what happens when abortion is illegal.

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