Justice Kennedy, 81, is the second-oldest justice on the nine-member US Supreme Court.
On whether the time was right for a conservative woman to join the court, Trump said: "Could be".
Flake had blocked lower-court nominees in hopes of getting a Senate vote on curtailing Trump's tariff powers. The idea is to force the confirmation until after the midterms - if Democrats can retake the Senate, they may be able to force a more liberal judge to be nominated.
Flake could unilaterally block any judicial nominee from advancing beyond the Senate Judiciary Committee by voting with the Democrats in opposition. Also, Iowa's state Supreme Court has struck down a law requiring women to wait three days before getting an abortion.
Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, said Mr. Trump and Mr. McConnell now "hold the balance of the court in their hands - and with it, the legal right to access abortion".
"McConnell will make it a priority", he told reporters. "We're right in the middle of this president's very first term". With Arizona Republica Sen. John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the chamber.
If Collins and Murkowski start to fade, all eyes will be on Democrats from red states who are up for re-election this year and facing enormous pressure back home. Observers say a more conservative judge could help reinforce current limits the Administration is placing on EPA and other federal agencies. The source called the retirement "a majority saver".
One person on that list of names is Utah Sen. Mike Lee, who is the one non-judge on the list.
"I've got it narrowed to about five [candidates]", he told reporters, adding: "I like them all".
"I don't think that's completely inaccurate", Shapiro explained.
By contrast, then-president Barack Obama took just over a month after the February 2016 death of conservative justice Antonin Scalia to nominate a replacement, Merrick Garland.
McConnell says the situations are not the same. "So we want Roe to be overturned. and we expect that". "There should be no consideration of a Supreme Court nominee until the American people have a chance to weigh in. Leader McConnell set that standard in 2016 when he denied Judge Garland a hearing for almost a year, and the Senate should follow the McConnell Standard".
"He said he'd like the job, usually they don't say that", Trump said.
Trump was also asked about Sen.
A recent example of this debate arose on Wednesday, when Politico reported on a behind-the-scenes promise that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made to GOP leaders. Nearly three-in-10 people polled said they will vote for a candidate who wants to restrict access to abortion service, and a quarter said it doesn't make a difference.
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