Schumer privately asked Trump to nominate Merrick Garland to Supreme Court

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats slam Trump for considering Putin’s ’absurd’ request to question Americans Judge Kavanaugh confounds the left This week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation MORE (D-N.Y.) privately urged President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE in a phone conversation to nominate Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandPoll: Americans more divided on Trump Supreme Court pick than any other since 1987 Don’t worry (too much) about Kavanaugh changing the Supreme Court Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick MORE, former President Obama's Supreme Court nominee from 2016, to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

A person familiar with the conversation said on Thursday that Schumer told Trump in a phone call that lasted less than five minutes on Tuesday that the move would help unify the country.

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The Democratic leader also warned the president against nominating a potential justice to the Supreme Court who would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, stating that such a move would be "cataclysmic" and damaging to Trump's legacy, according to a person familiar with the call, which was first reported by The Washington Post.

The source added that the call between Schumer and the president "seemed more like a check the box call than meaningful consultation" because it came after Trump had already begun narrowing his short list and interviewing candidates.

Schumer previously wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times that a potential nominee's position on abortion rights could likely be a deciding factor in their Senate nomination battle.

“The views of President Trump’s next court nominee on these issues could well determine whether the Senate approves or rejects them," Schumer wrote.

Senate Republicans declined to consider Garland's nomination in March 2016, citing the impending presidential election and stating the need for the American people to weigh in on the nomination.
 
Despite Garland meetings with several key Republicans, his nomination failed to gain any traction. Trump would later nominate Justice Neil Gorsuch to the seat formerly held by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
 
Trump has said he will announce his second Supreme Court nomination on Monday, telling reporters that he has narrowed the list to about five candidates, including two women.
 
“We have great people,” Trump said of his short list. “Highly talented, brilliant, mostly conservative judges.”
 
Trump has previously pledged to nominate "pro-life judges," but the White House says he is not asking his potential picks for specific policy opinions.
 
Updated at 12:50 p.m.