Trump interviews four Supreme Court candidates as decision nears

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President Trump said Monday he has interviewed four potential Supreme Court nominees as he moves closer to picking a replacement for retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. 

Speaking during a White House meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Trump said he plans to meet with two or three more candidates before making a final decision “over the next few days.”

“They are outstanding people. They are really incredible people in so many different ways,” Trump told reporters. “I had a very, very interesting morning.”

{mosads}The president gave little indication about whom he might select, only saying “the person that is chosen will be outstanding.”

Trump is moving quickly to fill the vacancy left by Kennedy, which could allow him to solidify conservative control of the nation’s highest court. 

The president said on Friday he had narrowed his list of possible nominees to five, including two women. Trump on Monday reiterated his plan to announce the pick on July 9, which would set up a potential confirmation vote in the Senate by the fall. 

Trump has said he will select Kennedy’s replacement from a previously released list of 25 possible justices, which includes many high-profile conservative legal figures.

The White House said earlier Monday that Trump’s top in-house lawyer, Don McGahn, has been tapped to oversee the nomination process, which includes vetting possible nominees and briefing the president on his choices. 

Deputy White House press secretary Raj Shah is taking a leave from his role to run communications and messaging strategy with lawmakers on Capitol Hill and Office of Public Liaison chief Justin Clark will lead coordination with outside conservative allies. 

Trump’s nominee is expected to face a bruising nomination fight in the Senate, where Republicans hold a slim majority. Abortion has emerged as a key issue in the nomination because another conservative justice could vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that granted women the right to abort a pregnancy. 

Tags Donald Trump Supreme Court of the United States Supreme Court vacancy

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