Trump to Have Supreme Court Pick by July 9

Donald Trump's travel ban upheld — Everything you need to know

Asked about Barrett, he said, "She's an outstanding woman".

It's widely expected the next appointee could shift the current balance of Supreme Court to a more conservative-learning bench.

By contrast, then-president Barack Obama took just over a month after the February 2016 death of conservative justice Antonin Scalia to nominate a replacement, Merrick Garland. Trump himself promised on the campaign trail that he would appoint "pro-life" justices. He said the voices of millions of Americans heading to the polls this fall "deserve to be heard".

The White House said Trump's team also spoke with more than a dozen additional senators. That sorry distinction goes to Indiana's Joe Donnelly and four other Democratic senators running for re-election in red states Trump carried in 2016. Thapar is a favorite of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell ended up holding the seat open for more than a year, until after Trump won the election and Neil Gorsuch was confirmed to take Scalia's place.

Republicans changed the rules during Gorsuch's confirmation to wipe out the main delaying tactic for Supreme Court nominees, the filibuster, and the need for 60 votes to defeat it.

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin had a grim response Wednesday to the news that Justice Anthony Kennedy will be retiring this summer: "Roe v. Wade is doomed". The FBI is still conducting background checks, the person said.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement effective July 31.

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"It comes out of nowhere in a decision upholding the travel ban case", said Elizabeth Wydra, the president of the Constitutional Accountability Center.

While Kennedy was a conservative, he proved to be a somewhat unpredictable "swing" vote over his long career.

Trump says he discussed with Kennedy some potential replacements but declined to say which names were mentioned.

Trump has said he will pick Kennedy's successor from a list of 25 people.

The Republican Party is determined to fill Justice Kennedy's seat before the court's 2018 term and mid-term elections begin in October and November respectively. If either or both Collins and Murkowski end up opposing the nominee, support from some combination of this Democratic trio will be necessary to achieve a simple majority in the Senate.

"We have great people", Trump said of his short list. "From day one, I've heard, outside of war and peace of course, the most important decision you make is the selection of a Supreme Court judge - if you get it".

But several former law clerks have said that Kennedy, a nominee of President Ronald Reagan, preferred to be replaced by a Republican. He has advised Trump in the past on judicial picks. "We shouldn't vote on confirmation until they have voted at the ballot box". That will give President Donald Trump the chance to cement conservative control of the high court. The future of Kennedy's seat has been a moment abortion rights opponents and supporters alike have been anticipating for years because Kennedy historically sided with the liberals on the court in favor of protecting abortion rights.

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