Republicans Trump

In this Jan. 25, 2018 photo, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks to reporters. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said he would not vote for any Supreme Court justice nominee who had already made up their mind about specific cases, including the landmark one that legalized abortion.

"I'm not going to vote for anybody that tells me they're going to decide a case before the facts are presented to them," Graham said in an interview Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

The South Carolina Republican said the 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade is one that should be respected by the justice tapped to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Graham, who identifies as being pro-life, said the case has been affirmed many times over the years.

"This is not a referendum on Roe v. Wade," Graham said of the Supreme Court nomination process.

"I would tell my pro-life friends you can be pro-life and conservative, but you can also believe in stare decisis," he said, citing the legal term referring to precedent that, when translated from Latin, means "to stand by things decided."

President Donald Trump said in an interview Sunday on Fox Business Network that he will likely not ask the person he nominates to the high court about how they would vote on abortion.

"I don't think I'm going to be so specific," Trump said.

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Graham also said he wants the Supreme Court vacancy filled before the midterm elections.

"I think we need to move forward. I believe we will. And it's going to be a qualified, conservative Republican," Graham said of the future pick.

"And I would tell my Democratic friends what I told my Republican friends: When Obama won, he made two picks, Sotomayor and Kagan. I voted for both because I thought they were qualified. I voted for Alito and Roberts and I would imagine I'll vote for this pick," he added.

Supreme Court justices are appointed by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Editor's note: an earlier version mischaracterized Sen. Graham's position on abortion.

Reach Caitlin Byrd at 843-937-5590 and follow her on Twitter @MaryCaitlinByrd.

Political Reporter

Caitlin Byrd is a political reporter at The Post and Courier and author of the Palmetto Politics newsletter. Before moving to Charleston in 2016, her byline appeared in the Asheville Citizen-Times. To date, Byrd has won 17 awards for her work.

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