Senators Who Will Likely Decide The Next Supreme Court Justice

Kennedy announced his retirement Wednesday, allowing Trump - who a year ago appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch - to fill a second seat on the Supreme Court.

Now, two years later, President Trump is betting he can once again ride the Supreme Court issue into the 2018 elections and not only see his party keep control of the House, but add to its margin in the Senate.

There is no nominee yet, but Trump indicated on Friday he will likely pick from a short list of roughly five candidates, all of which have bona fides among conservatives and align ideologically with Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Trump was asked Friday if he plans to ask potential nominees their views on abortion rights and Roe v. Wade.

"No matter how I vote there are going to be people who are furious at me", Collins said.

"We have a very excellent list of great talent and highly educated, highly intelligent, hopefully tremendous people", Trump said.

Anthony Kennedy's retirement next month will give Trump an opportunity to shift the balance of the Supreme Court to the right.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said he hoped the confirmation process would be done "in time for the new justice to begin the fall term of the Supreme Court" by the first Monday in October.

If Trump is successful in pushing through a nominee who's likely to overturn or erode Roe, the fight over the future of the decision could play out in several ways.

The president and Senate Republicans are moving quickly to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, despite protests from Democrats.

Some more neutral observers believe that while both sides will use the court battle to boost turnout, the advantage will go to the Republicans. He said he planned to interview one or two of them this weekend in Bedminster, N.J., where he is spending time with family at his private golf course. On Friday, Trump reassured reporters that he would discuss USA interests in the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, and would certainly raise the issue of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. "This appointment will have a significant effect on the availability of abortion", Carroll said.

In Arkansas, a legal battle is now playing out over a law that imposes limitations on access to medication-induced abortions.

"The question we are raising is if you have a heartbeat, you have a life and if you have a life then under the Constitution, you are guaranteed a right to life and due process and equal protection under the law before that life is taken away", Greg Heartsill, an Iowa GOP state representative, said in an interview. A 2018 study released as a National Bureau of Economic Research paper found that states with right-to-work laws that weaken unions reduce the vote shares of Democratic presidential candidates by 3.5 percentage points. Other states, including MS and Louisiana, have banned abortion at 15 weeks' gestation, and others have prohibited specific methods.

"If he picks somebody that's hardcore on Roe v. Wade or that's hardcore on repealing healthcare that's a bigger lift", Manchin said.

Kavanaugh is a Roman Catholic who opposes abortion rights.

Schumer said it would be "the absolute height of hypocrisy" for the Senate to move forward with confirming Trump's pick during an election year after using the 2016 election as the rationale for refusing to act on Garland. "That's what you need, and that's Kevin Cramer", Trump said.

"He is going to put someone on the court who will be the fifth vote to criminalize abortion, punish women and throw them in jail", declared Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

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