With little more than a week before President Donald Trump announces his nominee to the highest court in the land, Trump sought to downplay some of his past comments about making opposition to legalized abortion a litmus test for his Supreme Court nominees.
When the final gavel came down to end the Supreme Court term on Wednesday morning, the Supreme Court press corps scurried to their computers to begin writing stories about a momentous term where the justices took a hard right turn on core issues and liberals found themselves on the losing end of more than a dozen 5-4 opinions.
The Kaiser survey found that 42 percent of voters say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports access to abortion service, while 29 percent said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who would restrict access.
In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that the right to privacy extended to a woman's right to have an abortion.
Democrats and liberal interest groups, gearing up for President Donald Trump's choice for the seat opened up by Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement, are treating the moment as one of utmost danger for abortion rights in the United States.
FILE PHOTO: Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy speaks during a swearing in ceremony for Judge Neil Gorsuch as an associate justice of the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, U.S., April 10, 2017.
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Brett Kavanaugh, 53, with the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
"We have to pick one that's going to be there 40 years, 45 years", Trump said at a rally on Thursday. "The way he puts it, is someone who is quote, 'not weak, '" Leo said. Trump is also considering Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amul Thapar, who could become the first Indian American to serve on the Supreme Court.
"That's not a question I'll be asking them", he said.
Trump's allies have made clear he wants another justice in the Gorsuch mold. Trump welcomed Republicans Chuck Grassley, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Democrats Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly and Heidi Heitkamp as part of the effort. Trump asked Manchin, the senator recalled. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, was at the White House Thursday night for a meeting with Trump. "I said, 'Mr. President, that's your choice'".
This comes after the president revealed the date to reporters on Air Force One Friday, and also noted he is considering five people for the pending vacancy, which includes two female judges.
Kennedy's replacement could be pivotal in paring back abortion rights, potentially even challenging the Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973 that gave women a constitutional right to obtain the procedure.