Trump Says He Probably Won’t Ask Supreme Court Candidates About Abortion

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said he probably won’t ask people he interviews to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy whether they would overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 abortion ruling.

“That’s a big one. And probably not,” Trump told Fox Business Network host Maria Bartiromo in an interview to be broadcast on Sunday Morning Futures. “They’re all saying, ‘Don’t do that, you shouldn’t do that.’” He added, “I’m going to try and do something, but I don’t think I’ll be so specific.”

Trump is aiming for Kennedy’s replacement to be confirmed in time to join the court for its new term in October, White House legislative affairs director Marc Short said.

“Our expectation again would be that we would nominate a candidate in the near future,” Short told reporters Friday at the White House.

The nominee would ideally go through a confirmation hearing and meet with Senate Judiciary Committee members over the summer, with a vote by the full Senate after Labor Day, he said.

Trump will ask potential nominees “about their past, their history, their academic credentials. Questions about things that they’ve written.” But he won’t ask about specific cases or decisions such as Roe v. Wade, Short said.

“There’s not a litmus test or particular questions about x, y or z case,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said Thursday on Fox News that he expects a nomination soon.

“We should be able to work our way through the confirmation process sometime before early fall,” he said. “Hopefully in time for the new justice to begin the fall term of the Supreme Court.”

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