WH: Trump Won’t Talk to Judges About Specific Cases

By Melanie Arter | July 2, 2018 | 9:45 PM EDT

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Screenshot)

(CNSNews.com) - President Donald Trump campaigned on the promise to appoint pro-life judges during the presidential campaign, but the White House said Monday that he won’t talk to judges about specific cases.

“As the president said last week, he's not going to talk to judges about specific cases. He's looking for individuals that have the right intellect, the right temperament, and that will uphold the Constitution,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Monday.

As CNSNews.com reported, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said she wants a Supreme Court nominee who will respect precedent and that Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion, is settled law.

When asked whether Trump agrees with Collins that Roe v. Wade is settled law, Sanders said, “Again, the president is not going to get into asking the candidates about specific cases, but he's looking for somebody that meets those qualifications that I just outlined.”

When asked whether the president would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned, Sanders said, “Once again, I'm not going to get into any specifics that we would be looking at.”

“Not about this conversation with these justices. I'm saying, does he himself -- as just a matter of how he feels, his own policy -- does he want to see Roe overturned?” a reporter asked.

“Again, as this is ongoing, I'm not going to weigh into anything specific on that front at this point,” Sanders replied.

When asked whether Trump would still like to see the issue of abortion returned to the states as he indicated during the third presidential debate with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sanders said, “The president is pro-life, but in terms of the process of selecting a Supreme Court nominee, as the president said last week, he's not going to discuss specific cases with those nominees.”

Trump met Monday with four of the 25 judicial candidates he is considering to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, but Sanders refused to name who they were.

“Well, it wasn't me, so I can clear that up. I know you were really curious about that. Again, the president is being very thoughtful about this process. He's looking for certain characteristics, which we've outlined, and beyond that, I can tell you he met with four people today,” Sanders said.

According to the press secretary, the meetings lasted about 45 minutes each. She refused to confirm a report that DC Court of Appeals judge Brett Kavanaugh and 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judge Amy Coney Barrett are at the top of Trump’s list.

“Again, I'm not going to get into any more of the process other than what the president stated,” Trump said.

Sanders refused to say whether any of the justices Trump met with on Monday were women. When asked whether it is an important consideration for Trump to get a conservative woman on the Supreme Court, Sanders said, “Again, the president would like to see somebody who meets the qualifications that I've laid out, and that's what he's focused on.”

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