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President Donald Trump told reporters Friday that he will interview one or two candidates for the Supreme Court this weekend.
Trump said he has narrowed the pool of candidates to five people, including two women. He said he plans to announce his pick on July 9.
The president is considering candidates to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy who announced his retirement on Wednesday. His retirement gives Trump an opportunity to reshape the nation's highest court as Kennedy was a crucial swing vote.
Kennedy's announcement sparked speculation about how long the Supreme Court would stand by its earlier abortion rulings. When asked Friday whether he is looking for someone to overturn Roe v. Wade, the president said it was inappropriate to discuss that matter.
The president's first nominee to the court, conservative Justice , has already had an enormous effect on U.S. policy in narrowly decided rulings this week related to Trump's ban on travel from certain countries, abortion and labor unions. Earlier this week, the president said his next choice would come from a previously released list of 25 candidates. Possible candidates when Trump chose a replacement for the late archconservative Antonin Scalia included Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, Appeals Judges Thomas Hardiman and William Pryor, among others.
Earlier this week, Lee said he would accept the nomination if it were offered to him. Trump said it's unusual for candidates to say they'd like the job, but didn't comment further on Lee.
A spokesman for the senator told CNBC that Lee is spending time with his family in Utah this weekend and has no plans to call the president.
— CNBC's Jacob Pramuk and Brian Schwartz contributed to this report.