- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 8, 2018

Sen. Richard Blumenthal says President Trump has become the “puppet” of outside conservative groups in the selection of the next U.S. Supreme Court justice.

“The president’s outsourced this decision to the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation,” Mr. Blumenthal said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “It is extraordinary. I was a law clerk to Justice Blackmon. I’ve argued cases before the Supreme Court—four of them. I’ve never seen a president of the United States in effect make himself a puppet of outside groups and choose from a group of right-wing fringe ideologues that are prepared on this list.”

Last November, the White House published a list of 25 judges who would be considered for future nominations to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mr. Trump drew from a similar list of 25 last year, when he nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy on the highest court. That list was crafted during the presidential election with heavy input from the conservative Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation.

Mr. Blumenthal said the president is committed to nominating someone who will overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that created a constitutional right to abortion.

“If you look at what the president’s said, which is he will nominate someone only if that person is committed to automatically overturning Roe v. Wade,” he said. “If you look at what the president said of [Chief Justice] John Roberts, his berating Roberts for failing to strike down the Affordable Care Act. He certainly has criteria.”

• Bradford Richardson can be reached at brichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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