President Donald Trump interviewed four prospective Supreme Court justices on Monday and had plans to meet with a few more as his White House aggressively mobilizes to select a replacement for retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Though Kennedy was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan, a conservative, he was considered a swing vote.
Abortion rights is emerging as a litmus test for the next Supreme Court nominee, with Democrats and at least one moderate Republican declaring they wouldn't support a nominee who opposes the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that established a woman's right to abortion.
Schumer's column appeared a day after Senator Susan Collins, Republican of ME, said she would oppose any nominee she believed would overturn Roe v. Wade. Collins said she would back only nominees who would show respect for settled law such as the Roe decision.
Sanders wouldn't provide the names of the candidates who met with Trump or the two to three candidates expected to meet with the president later this week.
If there is a danger of losing Republican votes, the nominee could prevail by courting Democratic senators seeking re-election this year in states Trump carried in 2016, including Sens.
The White House also announced Monday that the overall confirmation process would be led by White House counsel Donald McGahn, as it was during the process that led to the successful confirmation past year of Justice Neil Gorsuch.
"The bottom line: Judge Barrett has given every indication that she will be an activist judge on the court", Schumer said.
Murkowski, from Alaska, and U.S. Sen. Justin Clark, the director of the Office of Public Liaison, will oversee White House coordination with outside groups.
This is despite a slim 51-49 majority in the 100-member Senate, and one of two pro-choice Republicans expressing concerns about Trump's potential selection from a list culled with the help of conservative organizations the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation.
Both Chief Justice John Roberts and Gorsuch have indicated broadly that they respect legal precedent. Or, if the worst happens, Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey - a Trump supporter - will have nearly certainly appointed a "yes" vote senator to fill out the rest of McCain's term. "I don't think at the end of the day it's about Roe v. Wade", Leo said on Fox News Sunday.