Donald Trump: I Was Joking When I Said I’d Put My Pro-Abortion Sister on the Supreme Court

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 15, 2016   |   2:05PM   |   Washington, DC

Now that pro-life Justice Antonin Scalia has passed away, pro-life voters are scrutinizing each of the candidates in terms of how they will handle Supreme Court appointments. And when it comes to businessman Donald Trump, he has faced criticism in some quarters from pro-life voters who point to a past interview he gave about his sister, who is a pro-abortion attorney.

As National Review reported in 2015:

Donald Trump told Mark Halperin yesterday that his sister, a federal judge, would be a “phenomenal” Supreme Court justice. He also said that “we will have to rule that out now, at least.”

If he ever becomes president, let’s hope he rules it out permanently. Maryanne Trump Barry came up in my book The Party of Death for writing one of those heated judicial decisions in favor of giving constitutional protection to partial-birth abortion. She called a New Jersey law against it a “desperate attempt” to undermine Roe v. Wade.

It was, she wrote, “based on semantic machinations, irrational line-drawing, and an obvious attempt to inflame public opinion instead of logic or medical evidence.” It made no difference where the fetus was when it “expired.” So: The right of abortionists to make a child “expire” by partially extracting her from the womb, sticking scissors in the back of her head, vacuuming out her brain, and crushing her skull to complete her extraction, is right there in the Constitution. But let’s please not have any “semantic machinations.”

Now, in a new interview, Trump says pro-life voters shouldn’t take the offhanded praise for his sister seriously and that she is not someone he would consider nominating to the Supreme Court.

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Here’s the transcript and video of what Trump said:

STEPHANOPOULOS: “Let’s turn to the Supreme Court right now. You also heard Senator Cruz right there say that you can’t be trusted to make a Supreme Court pick, that you would pick liberals on the court. He cited your praise of your sister, saying she would be a phenomenal Supreme Court justice. Your response?”

TRUMP: “Well, look, just so you understand, I said it jokingly. My sister’s a brilliant person, known as a brilliant person, but it’s obviously a conflict. And I said, oh, how about my sister? Kiddingly. My sister, also she — she also happens to have a little bit different views than me, but I said in that in a very joking matter, and it was all lots of fun and everything else. I would say total conflict of interest as far as my sister. Somebody like a Diane Sikes from Wisconsin I think would be very good. There’s some great people out there. But my sister obviously would not be the right person; it’s a conflict of interest for me.”