For the first time, conservatives might thank God for Kennedy

Clark Diaz
July 1, 2018

Trump vowed to appoint anti-abortion judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade while campaigning, and his list of nominees was assembled with the help of anti-abortion, conservative legal organization the Federalist Society.

Kennedy's plan to retire after three decades as a pivotal vote on the highest US judicial body gives Trump an opportunity to make the court more firmly conservative.

Justice William Brennan, a Republican nominee whom President Dwight Eisenhower reportedly considered one of his two biggest mistakes (the other was Chief Justice Earl Warren), once said that the most important word in the court's lexicon is - no, not "justice" or "freedom" or "equality" - "five".

The president says in the Oval Office that he will choose Kennedy's successor from a list of 25 names that have been under consideration.

President Donald Trump took a moment to explain the significance of a Supreme Court vacancy Wednesday to Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

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"That's not a question I'll be asking", he said.

Trump has made clear he wants to nominate justices with staunch conservative credentials. But it wasn't enough, she said. He is a Georgetown University Law Center alumnus and is also reportedly the favorite of Trump's sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, with whom he serves on the US Court of Appeals.

"Given the stakes of this Supreme Court seat, which will determine the fate of fundamental constitutional rights, the American people, who will vote in less than 4 months, deserve to have their voice heard", Harris posted on Twitter.

"Mike Lee, he's an outstanding talent", Trump said. The man they will be replacing, Anthony Kennedy, is stepping down at the age of 81.

Nominated by Republican President Ronald Reagan and confirmed in 1988, Kennedy is widely thought to be a moderate and pivotal swing vote on the court. Kennedy's departure will allow Trump to shift the court decisively to the right, possibly for a generation, and opens the door to a rollback of access to abortion, gay rights and protections for minorities. At the time, GOP leaders said the new president should get to pick the new justice. I think they may feel emboldened by today's decision. He was also the second-oldest behind Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85.

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Should Trump announce his pick as advertised on July 9, it would mark just 13 days since Kennedy's announcement.

The Supreme Court has two cases left to decide before justices begin their summer break.

The idea of the travel ban started in December 2015, when Trump's campaign called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on".

Like Collins and Murkowski, these Democrats are unlikely to reveal how they will vote until the nomination comes to the Senate floor.

AMY CONEY BARRETT of Indiana, US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit: Barrett is a relatively new appeals court judge in Chicago, confirmed a year ago after a bruising confirmation fight.

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