President Donald Trump said it is “certainly possible” that his Supreme Court pick will be involved in a ruling revisiting the landmark 1973 decision that legalised abortion in the US.
Trump said he did not discuss abortion rights with Amy Coney Barrett before choosing her for the top court, the BBC reported.
But Coney Barrett was “certainly conservative in her views”, he said.
She has been chosen to replace the late liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg but awaits Senate confirmation.
Democrats and women’s rights advocates fear Judge Barrett, a socially conservative jurist, could play a decisive role in any ruling overturning the 1973 judgment to legalise abortion, known as Roe vs Wade.
Should Judge Barrett’s nomination be confirmed, conservative-leaning justices will hold a 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court, shifting its ideological balance for potentially decades to come.
Trump said he did not know how the judge would vote on the issue if her nomination was approved.
“Mostly I’m looking for somebody who can interpret the constitution as written. She is very strong on that,” Trump said in an interview with Fox & Friends on Sunday.
Trump announced Judge Barrett’s nomination to the country’s highest court at the White House on Saturday, describing the 48-year-old as a “stellar scholar” with “unyielding loyalty to the constitution”.
The court’s nine justices serve lifetime appointments, and their rulings can shape US public policy on everything from gun and voting rights to abortion and campaign finance.
Judge Barrett is the third justice appointed by the current Republican president, after Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.
The abortion issue took centre stage in Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.
Since then a number of conservative states have passed new abortion restrictions that could lead to legal challenges in the Supreme Court.