White House unveils team to shepherd Trump's Supreme Court pick

  • The White House unveiled the team responsible for shepherding through President Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court.

  • The team will have a heavy workload, as the Senate remains split and concerned about any ideologies a potential nominee might hold.

WASHINGTON — White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday unveiled the team tasked with handling President Donald Trump’s upcoming nomination to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, ahead of the planned July 9 announcement.

White House counsel Don McGhan, despite being rumored to be on his way out of the administration, will once again oversee the selection and overall confirmation process, Sanders told the White House pool.

Sanders also revealed that deputy press secretary Raj Shah will oversee "communications, strategy and messaging coordination with Capitol Hill allies," which will include a break from his regular role in the White House.

And White House Director of the Office of Public Liaison Justin Clark will direct the grassroots effort with key constituencies and allies.

The new team comes as another Trump ally comes aboard. Federalist Society Executive Vice President Leonard Leo will serve as an adviser during the process.

Leo suggested on Fox News Sunday that a litmus test for overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision on abortion, would not be a significant factor.

"None of the people who are being talked about now in the public space in the media are people who have a clear position on Roe v. Wade," Leo said. "The most important thing here is a record showing fairness, someone who listens very carefully to arguments on both sides, someone who tries to keep an open mind."

Leo also did not shy away from the polarizing nature of the court vacancy, while also acknowledging the Trump administration's bent toward nominating a more textualist justice.

"Well, any Supreme Court confirmation is transformative. This is a court that is often equally divided," Leo added. "At the end of the day, I think what's really important to remember is that there's been a movement on the court toward being more originalist and textualist. In other words, the idea that law means something, it has determinate meaning. And that's the trend that I think this president wants to continue."

The Supreme Court fight could prove to be difficult, as big dollar donors are already gearing up for a fight on the confirmation process. In addition, the Senate's split makeup will be difficult to navigate in the wake of multiple Republican senators expressing concerns about a nominee being too conservative.

Trump is slated to announce the nominee on July 9, he wrote in a tweet on Saturday.

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