Trump's successful confirmation of his second Supreme Court nominee in under two years could help seal his legacy among social conservatives who have been clamoring for Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement in the hopes of replacing a pivotal vote on the court with a solidly conservative replacement.
It's reported Trump has whittled down his list of possible nominees to five top contenders.
Perhaps surprisingly, considering their general bent against women in power, many conservative groups are actually encouraging the president to choose a woman as the final nominee. Federal judges temporarily blocked Trump's so-called "travel ban" and his decision to end the program that protects from deportation undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S.as children. He described the candidates he met as "outstanding people", but did not name them. But he told reporters on Friday that he would not question potential high-court nominees about their views on abortion, saying it was "inappropriate to discuss". They have even endorsed the misogynistic notions that women rely on abortion for professional success and that women can not "enjoy equal citizenship stature" without abortion. In the landmark case Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), he joined the plurality opinion upholding Roe v. Wade (1973), the case that legalized abortion at the federal level. A pro-life woman on our nation's highest court will be a living rebuke to those who falsely equate abortion with women's empowerment.
Moreover, the chief justice breaks with conservatives a fair amount of the time and has repeatedly shown that he does not regard originalism - interpreting the Constitution according to the original public meaning of its words - as the only acceptable way to interpret the Constitution.
This works in Trump's favor in several ways. I can already hear him: "Look at me!"
Three Democrats, all from states Trump won in 2016, supported Trump's prior pick, Justice Neil Gorsuch - Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Joe Donnelly of Indiana. "Nobody loves women more than me". (McCain isn't afraid to buck his own party, but he is mostly in line with his party in opposing abortion rights). They'll even call it feminism. "And that's what I want to see in this nominee". She was more than qualified: After attending Northwestern University School of Law, she clerked for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and was later appointed to the Michigan Supreme Court. Once a court has decided an issue, stare decisis is the policy that the same court should abide by that precedent in future cases unless there is an extraordinary justification for overruling it.