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Sunday shows preview: Supreme Court fight in the spotlight

In Supreme Court pick, Trump can push conservative social agenda

President Donald Trump said Friday that he has narrowed his list to a handful of potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees and will announce his choice to replace Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on July 9.

On the campaign trail, Trump pledged to appoint a justice who would overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark supreme court case that legalized abortion, saying as a candidate that reversing the decision "will happen, automatically" under his presidency. However, after Kennedy informed the Trump administration he was retiring, even the most keen observers likely didn't realize how the progressive left would respond to that news.

The person Trump picks for the seat is nearly certainly going to be more conservative than Kennedy. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor held the role for 10 years, Justice Byron White for 15, and Kennedy for 18. He serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and is a former Kennedy law clerk, as was Neil Gorsuch, Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, who succeeded Antonin Scalia.

"Kennedy is at or near the top on nearly all measures of power or influence", said Lee Epstein, a political scientist at Washington University in St. Louis. The swing-vote senators, along with McCain, were the trio who derailed the GOP's 2017 effort to repeal most of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.

Few justices have continued their tenures on the court after the age of 80, and only 11 justices have served while they were older than Kennedy. "And that will happen automatically, in my opinion, because I am putting pro-life justices on the court".

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Pro-choice demonstrators wave signs in front of the US Supreme Court 30 November 2005, in Washington, DC.

Trump met on Thursday with a group of six senators - three Republicans and three Democrats - to discuss the court vacancy, the White House said in a statement.

In his Air Force One conversation with reporters, during the quick afternoon flight to New Jersey from Washington, Trump singled out one potential candidate for the court, Sen. Since 1937, no chief justice has also been the median justice.

Democrat Bill Nelson, asked by reporters if a nominee's views on Roe v. Wade will be important to him, said, "very". Gun rights or restrictions were the most-cited issue, followed by health care, then civil rights.

"It is exciting though, right?" said Trump.

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