President Donald Trump

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President Trump Says He'll Name Supreme Court Nominee Next Monday

July 02, 2018 - 2:52 pm

WASHINGTON (WCBS 880/CBS News) -- President Donald Trump said Monday that he will announce the nominee in one week for the U.S. Supreme Court seat being vacated by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Over the weekend, Trump spent time in Bedminster, New Jersey, and although he hinted that he might meet with some potential Supreme Court nominees there, no candidates were present on the weekend trip.

But Trump said he has now interviewed and met with four prospective justices.

“In the morning, during the morning, I interviewed and met with four potential justices of our great Supreme Court. They are outstanding people. They are really incredible people in so many different ways – academically and every other way – and I had a very, very interesting morning,” Trump said.

Trump said he would meet with two or three more prospective justices before selecting one.

“I think the person that is chosen will be outstanding,” Trump said.                                                                                                                                    

CBS News White House Correspondent Steven Portnoy told WCBS 880’s Wayne Cabot and Cheryl Simone Monday morning that when it comes to the U.S. Senate, the decision on whether to confirm whomever Trump nominates will likely hinge in large part on Roe v. Wade.

“As you hear Republican Sen. Susan Collins tell ABC and CNN over the weekend that she would not support a nominee – if that nominee indicates that he or she would be willing to overturn the 1973 landmark decision determining that there is a constitutional right to abortion in this country. It was a decision that was affirmed in 1992 by Anthony Kennedy, whose retirement creates this vacancy,” Portnoy said.

Portnoy emphasized that Trump will have difficulty getting a nominee confirmed with only Republicans.

“There are 51 Republicans in the Senate, and the president can only afford to lose two votes – that’s if Democrats retain their steadfast opposition to having any kind of confirmation vote before the midterm elections,” he said.

It is possible that Collins could have company among Senate Republicans who might refuse to confirm a justice who plans to overturn Roe v. Wade. But that does not necessarily mean the nominee will lose confirmation.

“It’s possible, if Lisa Murkowski of Alaska were to chime in and say the same. What remains to be seen is whether moderate Democrats in states like West Virginia, North Dakota, maybe Indiana – if those Democrats in the Senate were to vote for a nominee – and they might, because, you know, Neil Gorsuch got a small number of Democratic votes last year – well that essentially gives cover to Susan Collins and/or Lisa Murkowski if they decide to vote against this particular nominee,” Portnoy said.

During the 2016 campaign, Trump said he would put forward pro-life nominees who would support overturning Roe v. Wade. But he told reporters on Friday that he would not ask the prospective nominees for their views on this subject, Portnoy noted.