The most lasting legacy of any president is the choice of a nominee for the Supreme Court. President Donald Trump is finalizing his own decision–which will undoubtedly be the most important of his presidency as well: his second nominee to the US Supreme Court.
The president spent the weekend researching the backgrounds, rulings and philosophies of his top potential nominees. It’s a choice he plans to announce one week from Monday as polls show the majority of Americans describe themselves as “pro-life.”
On Saturday morning, the president tweeted, “I will be making my choice for Justice of the United States Supreme Court on the first Monday after the July 4th Holiday, July 9th!”
The White House is focusing on five to seven potential candidates to fill the vacancy of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was a swing vote on the court. The nominees reportedly include two women.
Trump now has the chance to create a conservative majority on the court for years to come.
In a Fox News interview, the president was asked if his nominee will be confirmed before the fall midterm elections.
“I think it’s going to go very quickly,” he replied. “I think we’re going to have a lot of support. I think we’re going to have a lot of support from Democrats, frankly. If it’s the right person, I’m going to pick the right person. I’m going to pick somebody who is outstanding. And everybody on that list is outstanding. And I think, yes, I think it will go very quickly. ”
Meanwhile, Democrats are already on the attack, fearing Trump’s pick will help the court overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.
Standing outside the Supreme Court, New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand told supporters, “Women’s lives are at stake. Make no mistake. This is about whether we are going to criminalize women’s health care decisions.”
It’s not just Democrats that Trump has to worry about. Some key pro-choice Republicans could also give him trouble.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said Sunday she would oppose any nominee she believed would overturn Roe v. Wade.
“A candidate of this important position who would overturn Roe v. Wade would not be acceptable to me because that would indicate an activist agenda,” Collins told ABC’s “This Week.”
When asked if he will he ask his nominee about Roe V. Wade, Trump replied, “They’re all saying, ‘Don’t do that. You don’t do that. You shouldn’t do that.’ But I’m putting conservative people on.”
“I’m very proud of Neil Gorsuch,” he continued. “He has been outstanding; his opinions are so well-written, so brilliant. I’m going to try to do something like that, but I don’t think I’m going to be so specific in the questions I’ll be answering and I’m actually told that I shouldn’t be.”
Meanwhile, evangelical leaders, like Jerry Falwell Jr., are downplaying a potential reversal of Roe v. Wade. He points out the issue would simply be returned to the states and that a majority of states would keep abortion legal.