In an interview with reporters on Air Force One, President Donald Trump announced that he plans to declare his nominee to replace swing vote Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on July 9.
When asked whether he would be asking candidates about their opinions on abortion rights, Trump stated, “That’s not a question I’ll be asking.” Trump vowed to appoint anti-abortion judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade while campaigning, and his list of nominees was assembled with the help of anti-abortion, conservative legal organisation the Federalist Society. Whether he verbalises the question in an interview is the least concerning part of the process.
The Federalist Society is a nationwide organisation of conservative lawyers who espouse conservative judicial philosophies. At the invitation of Trump, their executive vice president of the organisation, Leonard Leo, helped handpick the 25 Supreme Court candidates that Trump will be choosing from. Leo also had a hand in the selection of Trump’s first supreme court appointment, Neil Gorsuch, last year. Of the five candidates believed to be frontrunners, all five have spoken at Federalist Society events, reports Business Insider.
Trump has made his intentions and vision for the United States very clear from the beginning. “Well, if we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that’s really what’s going to be – that will happen,” said Trump when asked during a presidential debate whether he wanted to see the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade. “And that’ll happen automatically, in my opinion, because I am putting pro-life justices on the court.”
He’s been transparent about his intentions for the Supreme Court and wanting to overturn Roe v. Wade since he was campaigning. It should come as no surprise that he is inviting the guidance of a conservative organisation to select potential candidates. It doesn’t matter if he asks them about their opinions on abortion rights because by the time a candidate interviews with him, they would have already been asked in the earlier vetting process. When you want your way, you don’t nominate someone who will challenge your opinions. You nominate someone who is like-minded.
In the wise words of Maya Angelou, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”