Trump 'Probably' Won't Ask SCOTUS Nominees About Roe v. Wade

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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) said Thursday the upcoming fight over President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee was about whether the country would "criminalize women".

He added, "I think it's inappropriate to discuss".

Republicans changed Senate rules a year ago to get Trump's conservative nominee Neil Gorsuch confirmed, lowering the threshold to advance Supreme Court nominations to a simple majority vote.

Speaking to reporters on the plane from Washington DC, Trump said he may interview two contenders for the nomination this weekend in New Jersey. In arguing their case, Democrats have emphasized that Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the United States, could be in jeopardy.

Trump did mention another potential candidate, Sen. "We have to pick one that's going to be there for 40 years, 45 years", Trump said at a campaign rally in Fargo, North Dakota on Wednesday, suggesting that his nominee will be young enough to serve that long on the court. He was nominated by President Ronald Reagan, a Republican, in 1988.

Some possible nominees being eyed include Thomas Hardiman, who serves alongside Trump's sister on the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Raymond Kethledge, a federal appeals court judge who clerked for Kennedy. Neither senator is known for telegraphing how they will cast their votes until right before the vote is called, so the spotlight will likely be on them in the months ahead.

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"Political speeches are just that, but the next day, I'm ready to get to work", Heitkamp said in a statement following a private meeting with the president.

The other senator who met with Trump, Republican Charles Grassley, is chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which will consider any Trump choice.

"Well, that's a big one, and probably not", Trump told Fox News' Maria Bartiromo in an interview scheduled to air Sunday at 10 a.m. on "Sunday Morning Futures". "And that'll happen automatically, in my opinion, because I am putting pro-life justices on the court".

"We'd be very happy if he'd pick any name on that list", said Severino.

Trump's allies have made clear he wants another justice in the Gorsuch mold.

Manchin might be Trump's closest ally across the aisle - the president even considered him for a Cabinet job - and Manchin left open the possibility of supporting Trump for re-election in 2020.

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