On Tuesday, Democrats and progressives across the country expressed collective dismay as Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's announcement that he will be stepping down and allowing President Donald Trump to fill another lifetime appointment to the nation's highest court.
Lisa Murkowski, Alaska, and Susan Collins, Maine, will nearly certainly be needed for Trump's eventual nominee to be confirmed, making them the most influential senators in the battle to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced Wednesday that he is retiring.
"As I said, I'm looking specifically at two women".
If Sen. Lee's bid to become a Supreme Court justice were to pass through Congress, then the governor of Utah would pick Lee's temporary replacement in the Senate, who would keep the post until the next general election.
He said he will not ask candidates whether they would overturn a 1973 ruling in the Roe v Wade case, which established a woman's right to abortion, nor would he discuss gay rights with them.
This will be Trump's second Supreme Court pick, after Justice Neil Gorsuch was confirmed in April 2017. Also of interest are Amul Thapar, who serves on the federal appeals court in Cincinnati; Brett Kavanaugh, a former clerk for Kennedy who serves on the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.; and Amy Coney Barrett, who serves on the federal appeals court in Chicago. "I like them all", he said. Even though Republican leader McConnell changed Senate rules a year ago to allow confirmation by simple majority, if Democrats hold together he can not afford defections.
In the run-up to selecting Gorsuch, Trump met with three contenders and White House officials vetted several more.
The Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative political campaign organization, launched a seven-figure ad buy Wednesday, aimed at vulnerable Democrats, said chief counsel and policy director Carrie Severino. Faris said. "We're still at a five-four majority for conservatives right now. there's no need to add four, or six or eight seats to the court".
"And I don't think it should be the only factor for anybody", Murkowski said.
Although Lee did not endorse Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign, Lee made clear the two are on good terms: "I have a good relationship with the president, you know?" Joe Donnelly, Ind., and Joe Manchin III, W.Va., as they considered Gorsuch previous year.