Trump's July 9 time frame could prove optimistic. President Donald Trump is not going to waste any time in nominating a replacement, and he has just shared some updates on that front.
Both will be the target of intense lobbying as Trump is expected to put forward a pick who would shift the court rightward, putting in play issues such as abortion, gay rights and the government's role in health care.
Trump has already spoken with many candidates on his list, and will likely interview the finalists again, officials said. He plans to meet with at least a couple of people over the weekend, and he says he will formally announce his decision on July 9. Utah Sen. Mike Lee, an attorney who has never been a judge, is also under consideration, although he said in 2016 he wasn't interested in a nomination.
"This is going to be an even bigger fight and therefore I only anticipate the budget will grow", Carrie Severino of Judicial Crisis Network told the Hill. 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. There are plenty of theories floating around, and he says that he anticipates interviewing six or seven potential candidates. Of those he is considering at this point, apparently, two of them are women.
Last year, Trump's first nominee to the court, Neil Gorsuch, was confirmed 54-45, with three Democrats voting in favor.
During Mr. Kennedy's tenure, Deutsche Bank became Mr. Trump's most important lender, dispensing well over $1 billion in loans to him for the renovation and construction of skyscrapers in NY and Chicago at a time other mainstream banks were wary of doing business with him because of his troubled business history. NPR has shared the list of 25 potential candidates that the president is supposedly referencing, and there are a handful of women included.
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Trump made clear during the presidential campaign that he would appoint justices who would oppose abortion. Will a woman become his next nominee, or will he stick with one of the men on his list? They include judges Amy Coney Barrett, 46, the most talked-about woman on the list; Thomas Hardiman, 52, the runner-up to Gorsuch a year ago; Raymond Kethledge, 51, another former Kennedy clerk; and Amul Thapar, 49, a favorite of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
For Republicans' part, they need to balance actively campaigning against the trio in 2018, while courting their votes for the Supreme Court nominee.
If Roe v Wade was overturned, 24 USA states would likely move to ban or severely limit abortion upon reconvening, at earliest within seven months of the supreme court's decision.
"I'll be announcing it the Monday after the Fourth of July", Trump said.
"Political speeches are just that, but the next day, I'm ready to get to work", Heitkamp said in a statement following a private meeting with the president.
Justin Kennedy, the former global head of Deutsche Bank's real-estate capital markets division, was one of Trump's close business associates, The Times reported, citing two sources familiar with the matter. Even though Republican leader McConnell changed Senate rules a year ago to allow confirmation by simple majority, if Democrats hold together he can not afford defections.