"We have an election between someone who promises he will support issues important to us as Christians, including appointing justices to the Supreme Court who would make us all proud - that's Donald Trump - and someone who promises she will do just the opposite".
"The left is going to try very hard to say this is all about overturning Roe", said Johnnie Moore, a Southern Baptist minister who was a co-chairman of the Trump campaign's evangelical advisory board. The president also said it was inappropriate to discuss whether he was looking for a justice who would be willing to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court 1973 case legalizing abortion.
Some possible nominees being eyed include Thomas Hardiman, who serves alongside Trump's sister on the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Raymond Kethledge, a federal appeals court judge who clerked for Kennedy.
Trump's interviews may begin as early as this weekend in New Jersey.
Trump told reporters Friday he would not ask potential nominees their views on abortion rights and Roe v. Wade.
Left-wing and right-wing groups have sprung into high gear since Kennedy's announcement on Wednesday that he would step down, putting the balance of the court on key issues like abortion and gay rights into question.
The president followed through with the appointment of Neil Gorsuch less than a month after his inauguration, delighting religious conservatives nationwide.
Benchmark oil prices rise over 2pc
IEA estimated OPEC had almost 3.5 million bpd in April 2018, with Saudi Arabia accounting for about 60%. The American Petroleum Institute reported late Tuesday a 9.2 million-barrel drop in crude supplies.
The first private White House meeting between evangelical leaders and senior Trump officials came in the days after the Gorsuch nomination, said Moore, who was in attendance. Nominated by Republican President Ronald Reagan and confirmed in 1988, Kennedy is widely thought to be a moderate and pivotal swing vote on the court.
Trump got his first Supreme Court pick after McConnell led a Republican blockade against Merrick Garland, former President Barack Obama's nominee to fill Scalia's seat.
When asked whether he would be asking candidates about their opinions on abortion rights, Trump stated, "That's not a question I'll be asking".
Many White House allies see Brett Kavanaugh as the favorite to replace Kennedy.
"I hope they keep thinking about it because they're going to get beaten so badly". Mike Lee (R-Utah).
Trump says of the candidates under consideration, "It's a great group of intellectual talent". You know, ICE, these are the guys that go in and take MS-13 and take them out because they are much tougher than MS-13, like by a factor of 10.and these are the ones. "I actually saw him on television last night where he said he'd love the job". And that is why these seats matter so much because - one of my favorite lines about the Supreme Court was by Justice Robert Jackson who served in the 1940s and '50s.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told a GOP gathering in Kentucky that the goal is to wrap up the confirmation in time for the nominee to join the court at the start of its next term in October.