Evangelical leaders downplay potential Roe v. Wade reversal

Muriel Hammond
July 1, 2018

The president says he is considering two women among a group of at least five potential candidates for the nation's high court.

"Outside of war and peace, of course, the most important decision you make is the selection of a Supreme Court judge, if you get it".

Other prominent names who could be considered include Judges Amy Coney Barrett, whom Trump named to the federal appeals court in Chicago; Raymond Kethledge, a former Kennedy law clerk who serves on the appeals court based in Cincinnati; and Amul Thapar, who is close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and whom Trump nominated to the Cincinnati-based appeals court. Asked if he planned to question potential court nominees their views on abortion rights and Roe v. Wade, he responded, "That's not a question I'll be asking".

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.

Trump said he not will push the candidates to say whether they would overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which established a woman's right to abortion.

It's been less than a week since Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court, but already anti-women activists are plotting how best to take advantage of a weakened judicial branch in order to undermine access to safe abortions.


The president followed through with the appointment of Neil Gorsuch less than a month after his inauguration, delighting religious conservatives nationwide. Trump will announce his pick to replace Kennedy on July 9. "It's a great group of intellectual talent. they are generally conservative", Trump said. "No matter how I vote there are going to be people who are furious at me", Collins told POLITICO.

On the day she endorsed candidate Trump in March 2016, the late iconic anti-abortion activist Phyllis Schlafly first asked him privately whether he would appoint more judges like the conservative Antonin Scalia, recalled Schlafly's successor Ed Martin, who was in the room at the time.

Trump was also asked about Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).

In the wise words of Maya Angelou, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time".

Kennedy's retirement, he said, could provide Democrats with a clear-cut argument in November for the importance of retaking Congress in case further court vacancies arise during the Trump administration. The White House said Trump's team also spoke with more than a dozen additional senators. Gorsuch cleared the Senate - only after McConnell pushed through a rules change to end the filibuster on Supreme Court nominees and lower the threshold for confirmation from 60 to a simple majority - with 54 votes. "The most important issue of this election is the Supreme Court", Franklin Graham repeatedly reminded audiences.

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