Key GOP senator says no Roe v. Wade opponent for high court

Joshua Roberts  Reuters

Joshua Roberts Reuters

The future orientation of the Supreme Court depends on who will succeed Kennedy, a conservative. She said she wouldn't vote for someone who would overturn Roe v. Wade. Trump has said he plans to announce a nominee July 9.

The court is split with five judges nominated by Republican presidents and four by Democrats, ruling on many cases along ideological lines.

Speaking at an Anchorage news conference, Murkowski simply said she favored someone like Kennedy, who played a pivotal role with his swing votes.

He has a litmus test for his Supreme Court nominee: end Roe v. Wade.

The White House said Monday that White House Counsel Don McGahn will oversee the selection process and deputy press secretary Raj Shah is taking a leave of absence to work on the confirmation full time. "If we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that's really what's going to be, that's what will happen automatically, because I am putting pro-life justices on court", he said during one of the debates. "These are important moral questions, but you don't take a moral position and then use the criminal law to impose it on people who believe differently", Kaine said.

"The president listened very intently to what Lisa Murkowski and I said", Collins continued, saying she regarded his meeting with them as "genuine outreach" regarding the Supreme Court.

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The shortlist is widely rumored to include U.S. Appeals Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett of IN; U.S. Appeals Court Judge Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania; U.S. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh of Maryland, who formerly clerked for Kennedy; U.S. Circuit Judge Raymond Kethledge of MI; and U.S. Appeals Court Judge Amul Thapar of Kentucky, according to the Washington Post.

"I would not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade because that would mean to me that their judicial philosophy did not include a respect for established decisions, established law", Collins said. "Roe v. Wade is probably the one that people are talking about in terms of having an effect".

"In the morning, I interviewed and met with four potential justices of our great Supreme Court", the president said. Overturning that 1973 ruling would not make abortion illegal, but it would allow individual states to ban the procedure.

"I want to be clear that a vote for any of the proposed nominees on Trump's list is a vote to overturn Roe v. Wade", said Ezra Levin, co-founder of the protest group Indivisible. Cory Booker, D-N.J., last week to ask his Senate Judiciary Committee colleagues to delay action until after special counsel Robert Mueller finished his investigation. John McCain not voting in the Senate due to his serious cancer, Republicans hold the barest of margins in what is now consequently a 50-49 Senate. Vice President Mike Pence can be called on to break a tie.

Associated Press reporters Mark Sherman, Alan Fram and Hope Yen contributed.

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