Spotlight turns to GOP women in Supreme Court fight

Other women on the list include Joan Larsen, who serves on the federal appeals court in Cincinnati and previously served as a Michigan Supreme Court Justice, and Allison Eid, who serves on the federal appeals court based in Denver and previously served as a Colorado Supreme Court justice.

Nominated by former President Ronald Reagan in 1987 and confirmed the following year, Kennedy has been considered a moderate who occasionally sided with the liberal bloc, including in 2015 when he wrote the majority opinion in favor of marriage equality in the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges case.

Trump said Kennedy's decision to retire at this point "showed confidence in us" to make a good choice for his successor. And justices often are cautious about blowing up precedents.

The road to confirmation for Trump's pick is likely to be a contentious one, as Democrats are expected to push back.

At present, lawmakers in several Republican-led states have passed aggressive regulations.

"There is no doubt that the president's nominee to succeed Justice Kennedy can expect exacting scrutiny from the Senate and that is the standard I will apply in evaluating the nominee", she said.

The president originally said he was considering a list of 25 candidates.

The president did not disclose whom he is considering for the job.

In a tweet today, the president said he will be making his choice for supreme court justice on July 9th. Donnelly went in first to meet with the president and reported afterward they had a productive conversation.

But now, with a seat open and a golden opportunity to cinch conservative control of the high court, Trump's supporters are downplaying the issue.

"A candidate for this important position who would overturn Roe v. Wade would not be acceptable to me because that would indicate an activist agenda that I don't want to see a judge have", said Collins, who has voted to confirm every Supreme Court nominee that has come up for a vote during her tenure in the Senate.

"You see this over and over again and it's the usual rank speculation", Leo said.

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said it would be the "height of hypocrisy" to vote on Mr Trump's nominee before this year's election. He's never discussed the issue with me.

Gorsuch's record on abortion is sparse. The man they will be replacing, Anthony Kennedy, is stepping down at the age of 81.

"I think the president's list is a very strong list".

"They're looking for anything and everything to motivate their base because they know they've got a big problem on their hands", said Maslin. In the court's most recent major abortion ruling, Kennedy was in the majority to strike down regulations on Texas abortion clinics.

Vanessa Coleman