WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on President Donald Trump and the Supreme Court (all times local):
President Donald Trump tells reporters aboard Air Force One he plans to announce his choice to succeed retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on July 9.
The president says he is considering two women among a group of at least five potential candidates for the nation’s high court. Trump says as many as seven candidates may be interviewed.
Trump was asked Friday if he plans to ask potential nominees their views on abortion rights and Roe v. Wade. He responded, "That’s not a question I’ll be asking."
Trump says he thinks that is "inappropriate to discuss."
He plans to begin interviewing possible candidates Monday but may meet with some this weekend in New Jersey.
Trump says of the candidates under consideration, "It’s a great group of intellectual talent."
A key Democratic senator is encouraging President Donald Trump not to pick a Supreme Court nominee who’s openly interested in overturning Roe v. Wade.
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin says it would be tough to support someone who would revamp the landmark decision.
Manchin says he’s "pro-life, but I know how that divides our country immediately, divides everyone."
During an interview Friday on a West Virginia radio station, Manchin said he told the president the same about repealing the Affordable Care Act, saying "all that stuff is red flags for all Americans."
Manchin says, "If he picks somebody that’s hardcore on Roe v. Wade or that’s hardcore on repealing healthcare that’s a bigger lift."
He was among several senators who met Thursday with Trump at the White House.
The Republican game plan for selecting the next member of the Supreme Court was ready to go even before longtime Justice Anthony Kennedy made his retirement announcement this week.
Kennedy’s news that he’ll leave the court next month immediately activated a network of White House aides, congressional allies and outside advocates, all set for their second Supreme Court confirmation fight in two years. With the successful push for Justice Neil Gorsuch still fresh in their minds, their effort this time is expected to follow a similar playbook.
President Donald Trump has hit the ground running, meeting Thursday with key Republican and Democratic senators at the White House in the evening to discuss the vacancy.
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