WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – President Trump has started interviewing top candidates for the Supreme Court.
The White House hopes to replace retiring justice Anthony Kennedy before the midterm elections, while Republicans still have a slim majority in the Senate.
“During the morning I interviewed and met with four potential justices of our great Supreme Court,” Trump said. “They are outstanding people, they are really incredible people.”
The president says he will meet with two or three more candidates and make a decision over the next few days.
He has also met with key senators, whose support he’ll need in replacing retiring justice Anthony Kennedy.
Among them, Republican Senator Susan Collins who drew a line on the issue of abortion rights.
“A candidate for this important position who would overturn Roe vs. Wade would not be acceptable to me,” she said. R
Roe versus Wade legalized abortion in 1973. Trump says he will not question potential nominees on their views about it, saying it’s inappropriate to discuss.
Democrats point out the President will have that information without asking.
“He doesn’t need to ask that question because those nominees on his list have already been screened by the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation and other outside groups,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal.
The White House is focusing on a list of five to seven potential candidates. CBS News has learned that Washington D.C. circuit court Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Chicago circuit court Judge Amy Coney Barrett are currently the leading contenders.
The President hopes to have a justice confirmed for the start of the next session in October.
President Trump says he’ll announce his nominee on July 9th.