President Trump may be able to avert a huge battle over the nation's abortion law by picking a female jurist to fill Anthony Kennedy's seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, Politico reports.
"I think the optics do matter. It's harder to make the case that a woman is against women's rights. It takes on special significance when people expect abortion to probably be the biggest issue," Curt Levey of the conservative Committee for Justice, told Politico.
"I think it's given even more significance by the fact the two most moderate Republican senators [Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska] are women."
The political news website said one person familiar with White House thinking said officials were keen on picking a woman and were closely vetting 7th Circuit Judge Amy Barrett and 10th Circuit Judge Allison Eid.
Another Republican close to the White House told Politico that attention was focused on about five potential nominees, with Barrett as the only woman on that list.
Since the announcement that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring, pro-choice advocates fear the Supreme Court will swing further to the right and jeopardize the historic 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion.
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