White House builds Supreme Court confirmation team

Riccardo Savi  Sipa via USA TODAY

Speaking at an Anchorage news conference, Murkowski simply said she favored someone like Kennedy, who played a pivotal role with his swing votes.

President Trump will announce his nominee for the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice this Monday and already outside groups from both sides of the political aisle are committing millions of dollars in advertisements surrounding what is expected to be a lengthy and rancorous confirmation battle.

Meanwhile, the Senate's top Democrat tried Monday to rally public opposition to any Supreme Court pick who'd oppose abortion rights, issuing a striking campaign season call for voters to prevent such a nominee by putting "pressure on the Senate".

NARAL Pro-Choice is also running a full page ad in all major ME newspapers, and digital ads specifically targeting Collins.

The president spent the weekend at his Bedminster golf club, consulting with advisers, including White House counsel Don McGahn, as he considers his options to fill the vacancy with a justice who has the potential to be part of precedent-shattering court decisions on abortion, health care, gay marriage and other issues.

"I would not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade because that would mean to me that their judicial philosophy did not include a respect for established decisions, established law", Maine's Susan Collins said on ABC's "This Week".

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump met with four people for 45 minutes each on Monday and will continue meetings through the rest of the week.

Collins discussed what she was looking for in a new justice, listing various attributes, then adding, "Most importantly of all, respect for precedent". Lisa Murkowski of Alaska to vote against Trump's nominee.

The Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973, but anti-abortion advocates hope Roe v. Wade will soon be overruled if Trump gets the chance to appoint a justice who could cast a potentially decisive vote against it.

WASHINGTON-Though John Roberts has been chief justice of the United States for 13 years, this fall's term may see the true birth of the Roberts Court.

Trump said late last week he had narrowed his short list of candidates to five, including two women. The ads will start appearing on Wednesday.

This is despite a slim 51-49 majority in the 100-member Senate, and one of two pro-choice Republicans expressing concerns about Trump's potential selection from a list culled with the help of conservative organizations the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation.

She also served as deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel, and clerked for David B. Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and for former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in the U.S. Supreme Court.

"There is keen interest in those two, but there are at least a couple of others who are still very seriously in the mix", said the person.

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