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Donald Trump urged to avoid controversial Supreme Court pick

09 July 2018
Donald Trump urged to avoid controversial Supreme Court pick

Battle lines have been drawn over the future of abortion in America on the eve of President Trump's nomination of a second justice to the USA supreme court that could put the landmark 1973 ruling Roe v Wade in jeopardy.

President Donald Trump and Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy participate in a public swearing-in ceremony for Justice Neil Gorsuch in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, April 10, 2017. Foreseeing inevitable news break-ins to offer coverage and analysis, broadcasters are rejiggering their primetime lineups so as to keep too much fresh summer fare from being preempted.

He crafted Trump's short list of potential Supreme Court nominees. Kavanaugh and Kethledge are both former clerks for Kennedy, while Coney Barret is a University of Notre Dame Law School professor. I've argued cases before the Supreme Court for them.

Asked about the details of the selection process, Trump said he had it down to four people.

"I think we can confirm any of the four names being mentioned", Blunt said on NBC's "Meet the Press".

Outside adviser Leonard Leo, now on leave from the Federalist Society, said on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that this kind of jockeying is standard, noting that "every potential nominee before announcement gets concerns expressed about them by people who might ultimately support them". The three others interviewed were justices Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Raymond Kethledge. "They're good judges. I think they'd be fine justices of the Supreme Court".

Kavanaugh, who has been seen as the front-runner, has inspired a broad campaign among supporters, but also a round of criticism from some Republicans, who have called his decisions in abortion and health care cases insufficiently conservative.

Mr Thapar, 49, a Cincinnati-based federal appeals court judge, was among the first four candidates interviewed by Mr Trump on July 2.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a member of the Judiciary Committee that will hold the confirmation hearing for Trump's court pick, said Sunday that it's clear to him that Trump wants a justice committed to overturning Roe v. Wade.

"I'll have a decision made in my mind by Sunday".

He compared Kavanaugh to Chief Justice John Roberts, saying that he "came straight out of the Ivy League to Washington, was never outside the beltway and went to the Bush White House". He has counseled them that there is no margin of error because the timing of the Senate's court vote is so close to an election that could hand control of the chamber to Democrats.

"Nobody really knows" how the next justice will vote, Leo said.