“It’s not a bad idea. It’s a reasonable idea,” he said of releasing a shortlist, after being pressed by the editorial board. Sanders noted that his wife, Jane Sanders, supported the idea. ” … I’ll take that into consideration. Nothing wrong with that.”
“As to who [my] potential nominees for the Supreme Court would be. Yep. All right,” he said. “So if you see that in the New York Times, you know where it came from.”
He declined to name specific people he would consider, but he vowed he would “never appoint anybody who was not 100 percent Roe v. Wade.”
“I believe women have the right to control their bodies, not the government,” Sanders said. “And in general, I think, especially in recent years, the Supreme Court, despite what they may say — what [Chief] Justice [John] Roberts and others may say — they are a very political group of people and too often they are beholden to right-wing special interests and corporate interests. So the person that I would appoint would not only be 100 percent Roe v. Wade, would be somebody who understands plight of the working class in this country, who is prepared to stand up to the power of corporate interests.”
In the 2016 election cycle, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump announced their shortlist of nominees for the Supreme Court. The judicial branch became a point of contention during the race, after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stymied President Barack Obama’s attempt to appoint Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court following Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. Voters on both the left and right saw an opportunity to gain a seat on the court, and Trump ultimately prevailed.
Since ascending to the presidency, Trump has since appointed two men to the Supreme Court: Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh, locking in a 5-to-4 conservative majority for the court that the president’s backers have applauded and supporters of abortion rights worry could have implications for a woman’s right to chose.
Liberal-leaning Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer are both in their 80s, making it possible that whoever is elected in 2020 will make another Supreme Court appointment. Ginsberg recently announced she was cancer-free after receiving treatment for her fourth bout with cancer, but it has not stopped Democrats from closely watching her health.
“I think everybody who is pro-choice is worried that there is now a 5-to-4, with [Brett] Kavanaugh, majority who could eviscerate Roe v. Wade,” Sanders said when asked about the future of the landmark abortion rights decision. He later added that “as president I would move to codify Roe v. Wade” into law.