Trump interviews 4 for Supreme Court, 2-3 more to go

GOP senator vows to reject SCOTUS nominee who is pro-life would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade

Trump is expected to announce his nominee next Monday. The long-standing goal of social conservatives and the Trump coalition is to overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to ban legal abortions, of course, but they know admitting that now would cost them at least two critical votes, those cast by Maine's Susan Collins and Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, both of whom claim to support women's right to choose.

One of the candidates in a short list of 25 potential nominees announced by Trump during his campaign included Judge Amul Thapar, who is now a federal judge in Kentucky.

McGahn will lead the overall selection and confirmation process, the White House said Monday.

"I can't imagine the president asking the nominee about Roe v. Wade or the nominee expressing a position of Roe vs. Wade privately or publicly", McConnell said. On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. criticized the record of U.S. Appeals Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett of IN, who is one of seven judges considered to be front-runners. "All they can do is obstruct and resist", Trump said. And Justin Clark, the director of the Office of Public Liaison, will oversee White House coordination with outside groups.

"Obviously I have to wait and see who the nominee is, but if, as President Trump has suggested, he's going to have a litmus test - and he said this over and over - on Roe v. Wade, then I'm not going to be voting for some justice who's going to overturn Roe v. Wade", Nelson said following a news conference with Tampa Bay-area environmental advocates touting his record and criticizing Gov. Rick Scott, who is challenging him for the U.S. Senate.

Schumer said that while Democrats don't control the Senate - Republicans have a 51-49 edge - most senators back abortion rights.

"The bottom line: Judge Barrett has given every indication that she will be an activist judge on the court", Schumer said. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) wants retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's replacement to oppose abortion.

When he took office, Trump inherited more than 100 vacancies in the federal judiciary, thanks to Republican efforts to block virtually all judicial nominations during the final two years of former President Barack Obama's term. Republicans control the chamber by only a slim majority, making the views of moderates, including some Democrats, important. John McCain of Arizona. Even though McConnell changed Senate rules previous year to allow confirmation by simple majority, if Democrats hold together, he can not afford defections.

Walker said that if it comes down to the vice president casting a tie-breaking vote, he thinks it could tear the country apart.

Associated Press reporters Mark Sherman, Alan Fram and Hope Yen contributed.