Trump's Supreme Court search begins, with youth a key factor

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid D-Nev. leads the Democrats of the Nevada delegation to the podium for a media availability in the U.S. Capitol on Monday Nov. 14 2016

The president, who spoke aboard Air Force One on the way to his golf club in New Jersey, said he had identified a group of at least five potential candidates for the nation's high court and he may interview as many as seven. "From day one, I've heard, outside of war and peace of course, the most important decision you make is the selection of a Supreme Court judge - if you get it".

The president also said he wouldn't ask potential justices about their position on Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision legalizing abortion rights. But Republican Senator John McCain, who has an aggressive form of brain cancer, has been absent from the Senate for months, meaning that if all Senate Democrats vote against Trump's eventual nominee, it would take only one Republican defection to defeat his pick.

"What people don't understand is that if you overturn Roe v. Wade, all that does is give the states the right to decide whether abortion is legal or illegal", Falwell told The Associated Press in an interview.

Trump to announce his Supreme Court nominee...

Trump's allies have made clear he wants another justice in the Gorsuch mold.

Kennedy, who was nominated to the bench by President Ronald Reagan, earned praise from both parties for the weight he put on the rights to privacy, dignity and freedom of speech.

McConnell predicted the nominee will be similar to Trump's first Supreme Court selection, Neil Gorsuch, in terms of background and philosophy on the judiciary's role. "I'm going to try and do something like that, but I don't think I'm going to be so specific".

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Mr. Trump is selecting from his list of 25 conservative judges, although the list includes Sen.

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.

When asked whether he would be asking candidates about their opinions on abortion rights, Trump stated, "That's not a question I'll be asking". Also of interest are Amul Thapar, who serves on the federal appeals court in Cincinnati; Brett Kavanaugh, a former clerk for Kennedy who serves on the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.; and Amy Coney Barrett, who serves on the federal appeals court in Chicago.

The complication for a Lee nomination is that if he joined the court, a Republican Senate seat would be vacated at a time when Republicans hold only a narrow 51-49 Senate majority.

Kennedy's retirement, he said, could provide Democrats with a clear-cut argument in November for the importance of retaking Congress in case further court vacancies arise during the Trump administration. "As you know, there are many presidents who never get a choice", Trump said. "I actually saw him on television last night, where he said he would love the job".

The poll, which was conducted on Thursday and Friday, found that abortion ranked a distant fourth when respondents were asked to list the issue of most concern to them among several that could come before the court.

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