Why age matters in Trump's Supreme Court pick

President Trump says he plans to announce his pick to replace Justice Kennedy on July 9th. CNN's Tom Foreman discusses the importance of age of the current members of the Supreme Court.

Posted: Jul 2, 2018 5:23 PM
Updated: Jul 2, 2018 5:23 PM

The White House on Monday announced key members of the team that will work to ensure President Donald Trump's next nominee to the Supreme Court is confirmed.

White House counsel Don McGahn, who has been eyeing the White House exits amid tensions with Trump in recent months, will oversee the "selection and overall confirmation process" for the President's second Supreme Court nominee, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday, signaling he will remain White House counsel for at least several more months.

Sanders also announced that her deputy Raj Shah will take leave from his role to "oversee communications, strategy and messaging coordination with Capitol Hill allies" surrounding the Supreme Court nomination. The move will put one of the administration's most important jobs in Shah's hands. But his step away from the day-to-day operations of the White House press shop could also signal the beginning of his exit from the White House, which Shah has been mulling in recent weeks.

Trump's successful confirmation of his second Supreme Court nominee in under two years could help seal his legacy among social conservatives who have been clamoring for Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement in the hopes of replacing a pivotal vote on the court with a solidly conservative replacement.

Trump is set to announce his nomination next Monday. The White House has also yet to announce who will shepherd the nominee through the Senate confirmation process, acting as the nominee's "sherpa."

Sanders also announced that Justin Clark, the director of the White House's office of public liaison, will oversee the administration's outreach to "key constituencies, coalitions, grassroots organizations and allies."

"The White House Counsel's office is overseeing a team of White House and Administration personnel from offices within the EEOB. Teams of attorneys from the White House Counsel's Office and Department of Justice are working to ensure the President has all the information he needs to choose his nominee. The Department of Justice is fully engaged to support the nomination and confirmation efforts," Sanders said in a statement Monday.

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