WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump interviewed four prospective Supreme Court justices Monday and planned to speak with a few more, as he powered forward with a speedy selection process to fill the fresh vacancy.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said he had met with “four potential justices of our great Supreme Court.” Trump added that he would meet with “two or three more” in advance of an announcement July 9 on a replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. He consulted with advisers during a weekend at his Bedminster golf club, and the White House has mobilized a team to manage the nomination and confirmation process.
Meanwhile, the Senate’s top Democrat tried Monday to rally public opposition to any Supreme Court pick who’d oppose abortion rights, issuing a striking campaign season call for voters to prevent such a nominee by putting “pressure on the Senate.”
With Trump saying he’ll pick from a list of 25 potential nominees he’s compiled with guidance from conservatives, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said any of them would be “virtually certain” to favor overturning Roe v. Wade. They would also be “very likely” to back weakening President Barack Obama’s 2010 law that expanded health care coverage to millions of Americans, he said.
Schumer said that while Democrats don’t control the Senate - Republicans have a 51-49 edge - most senators back abortion rights. 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.
“It will not happen on its own,” the New Yorker wrote in an opinion column in Monday’s New York Times. “It requires the public’s focus on these issues, and its pressure on the Senate.”