President Trump predicts 'vicious' fight over Supreme Court vacancy

The president said he expects Republicans will quickly confirm his nominee.

July 1, 2018, 11:46 AM

President Trump predicts that the fight over his eventual Supreme Court nominee to fill Justice Anthony Kennedy's seat will be "vicious," but that the Republican-controlled Senate will be able to confirm his pick before the midterm elections.

"It’s probably going to be vicious because the other side, all they can do is obstruct and resist," Trump said in an interview with Fox Business that aired Sunday. "But I think it's going to go actually very quickly if I pick the right person."

In the same interview, which was taped Friday at the White House, the president said that he has been advised not to ask potential nominees about where they stand on Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling on abortion.

Still, Trump did not rule out the idea that his eventual pick could be instrumental in a future ruling that either reverses or guts Roe v. Wade, leaving it up to states whether to allow abortion.

"You never know how that’s going to turn out," Trump said. "That’s a very complex question. The Roe v. Wade is probably the one that people are talking about in terms of having an effect, but we’ll see what happens. But it could very well end up with states at some point."

When asked about the effect his presidency has already had on the nation's highest court, Trump emphasized that recent major decisions by the conservative majority -- he specifically referenced one against public-sector unions -- were likely due to his appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch last year.

"As president I mean obviously outside of war and peace – the biggest decision you can make is the selection of a Supreme Court justice," Trump said. "And I see it, and you see it so vividly over the last two days because, I mean, those decisions would have all gone the other way" if Democrats had won the presidential election.