President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump and their son Barron Trump, arrive at Morristown Municipal Airport, in Morristown, N.J., Friday, June 29, 2018. The pick could further shift the court to the right and solidify its conservative bent for years or even decades.
They are also the only two Republican women who support abortion rights - with some caveats - and they could ultimately be the deciding votes on the Supreme Court nomination if all 49 members of the Senate Democratic caucus (including two independents) band together and oppose the nominee as a unified block.
"We have to pick a great one". He had released a version of the list during the 2016 campaign and seemingly used it to assuage Republican voters uneasy about his conservative bona fides.
What's becoming clear, though, is that to win over some of the senators, the administration will need to steer away from a nominee with widely and publicly shared personal views on abortion or overturning Roe vs. Wade.
"A high-profile Supreme Court battle will certainly remind all your voters what is at stake". This is a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land.
Prominent on the list of possible successors are Judges Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, who was seriously considered for the seat eventually filled by Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh, who serves on the federal appeals court in Washington and is a former Kennedy law clerk. Trump has praised Kennedy and his work, though it has included decisions on hot-button issues such as abortion, marriage equality, and the death penalty that many conservatives disagreed with. Kennedy was the deciding vote on several cases, but with no moderates in sight after the justice announced his retirement Wednesday, Matz believes his exit "will drastically change the energy of the building". In 2016, fully 81 percent of self-identified white, evangelical Christians told exit pollsters they voted for Trump - while just 16 percent went for Clinton.
The Center for Reproductive Rights points out that in recent years, the Supreme Court has declined to review a number of lower court decisions striking down abortion bans prior to the point of viability.
Trump won West Virginia by 42 percentage points in the 2016 election, North Dakota by 36 percentage points and in by more than 19 percentage points.
"I'll be announcing it the Monday after the Fourth of July", Trump said.
Kennedy's retirement was disclosed on the final day of the court's current term, which began in October.
Among them: Leonard Leo, who is on leave from the Federalist Society; John Malcolm of the Heritage Foundation; and attorney Don McGahn, now the White House counsel. On Wednesday, he joined his fellow conservatives in a ruling that dealt a major setback to organized labor by shutting off a key union revenue source. In 2013, McConnell, then minority leader, cautioned Democrat Harry Reid not to invoke the "nuclear option" - lowering the vote threshold for confirmation of judges and Cabinet officials from 60 to 51 votes.