Trump says he will announce Supreme Court pick on July 9

Andrew Harrer  Bloomberg via Getty Images

Andrew Harrer Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans hold a narrow 51-49 majority in the Senate, and it's even close because of the absence of ailing Sen.

On his way to Bedminster, NJ, the president told reporters aboard Air Force One that he plans to interview one or two candidates this weekend.

On whether the time was right for a conservative woman to join the court, Trump said: "Could be".

The two senators are trying to play down their influence as the frenzy over Supreme Court opening grows and the pressure on them builds. "Afterward, everyone is focused on Lisa and Susan", Murkowski said in an interview Thursday.

With Kennedy's departure, Republicans have a chance to tip the balance of the court.

Trump's nominee must win confirmation by the Senate. But for me, it's huge.

"As far as I know, Gen. Kelly wants to stay and he is staying".

Trump has said in the past that he would pick Supreme Court justices that would overturn Roe vs. Wade.

"Part of me says I would like to see it after the election because I think it will just fuel the turnout and have more participation in the election", Perkins said.

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Specifically, Faris thinks that lawmakers could come to an agreement on a constitutional amendment to end lifetime appointments for Supreme Court justices. "He said he'd like the job", Trump noted. Collins is one of a dwindling core of moderate Republicans who have been willing to defect from the party on contentious issues, including abortion and guns.

"The entire appointment system to the Supreme Court is completely broken, not just by the Merrick Garland stuff, but by they way it's just a lottery to begin with".

Collins said she has the "utmost respect" for Kennedy's service and integrity during his time on the nation's highest court and labeled him "an ideal justice". Dean Heller, Nev., the most politically vulnerable Senate Republican on the ballot this fall.

The president discusses Justice Kennedy's retirement and the process of finding a replacement during a rally in Fargo, North Dakota. "It's about upholding their word through this vote, and we're going to make sure that the public support is there for them in their states and that there will be a lot of frustration and anger if they don't".

"He's a great guy", Trump said.

White House officials have yet to describe the president's goals for his summit in Helsinki with Putin that will happen despite ongoing Justice Department and Senate Intelligence Committee probes into possible coordination between his campaign and Russians. Advisers within the administration include White House Counsel Don McGahn. Also attending were Republican Charles Grassley and Democrats Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly and Heidi Heitkamp.

Sen. Susan Collins of ME, above on Capitol Hill in April, and Alaska Sen.

Gorsuch has played a key conservative role on the Supreme Court since his confirmation, helping to deliver recent rulings on Trump's travel ban and restrictions on unions.

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