Trump adviser: Supreme Court pick not about Roe v. Wade

An adviser to President TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi arrives in Jordan with bipartisan congressional delegation Trump says his Doral resort will no longer host G-7 after backlash CNN's Anderson Cooper mocks WH press secretary over Fox News interview MORE on judicial issues said Sunday that the choice to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is not about whether the pick will overturn Roe v. Wade. 

Leonard Leo, who is on leave from the Federalist Society to assist Trump with the process of choosing the next Supreme Court justice, said on “Fox News Sunday” that concerns about the fate of the landmark case that legalized abortion are not new.

“Roe v. Wade is a very major precedent in America. And for 36 years people have been talking about it being overturned,” he said.

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Leo noted that similar concerns over Roe v. Wade arose when Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony Kennedy and other justices were nominated.

“No president is particularly good at speculating about this thing, and nobody is,” Leo said.

“And so I don’t think at the end of the day it’s about Roe v. Wade, it’s about having judges on the court who are going to interpret the Constitution the way it’s written,” he continued. “And part of interpreting the Constitution is taking into account major precedents, and that’s going to happen.”

Kennedy announced that he is retiring effective July 31. His retirement provides Trump his second opportunity to appoint a right-leaning justice to the bench, further shaping the court for years to come.

The president said he intends to name a nominee on July 9, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the Senate will vote on the pick this fall.

Democrats have sounded the alarm that Trump's pick could provide a vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Trump said he doesn't plan to ask potential nominees explicit questions about the issue.