Trump narrows down Supreme Court Justice replacements

Terry Joseph
July 1, 2018

Republicans hold a margin of 51-49 seats in the Senate.

Kennedy's replacement could cast a deciding vote on limiting or ending the right to abortion.

"This is a battle line that has been drawn that literally will put women's lives at risk, that undermines our civil rights, our human rights", Gillibrand said at a rally in Washington.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Friday he hoped the confirmation process would be done "in time for the new justice to begin the fall term of the Supreme Court. the first Monday in October".

The battle on Capitol Hill will essentially unfold in two phases, first centred on the nomination fight itself and then on the fallout for the November elections. The 53-year-old appeals court judge is a former clerk for Kennedy.

It's no secret in Washington, D.C., who the critical senators will be in the months ahead.

Few senators are as familiar with - and as cool at handling - the hot seat than Sens.

While Kennedy was a conservative, he proved to be a somewhat unpredictable "swing" vote over his long career.

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Divisive Supreme Court decisions are more likely to be re-examined - and possibly overturned - when a court changes.

It's been less than a week since Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court, but already anti-women activists are plotting how best to take advantage of a weakened judicial branch in order to undermine access to safe abortions.

He added, "I think it's inappropriate to discuss".

Left-wing and right-wing groups have sprung into high gear since Kennedy's announcement on Wednesday that he would step down, putting the balance of the court on key issues like abortion and gay rights into question. Asked about Barrett, he said, "She's an outstanding woman". Gorsuch was the youngest nominee since Clarence Thomas, who was 43 when confirmed in 1991. Trump asked Manchin, the senator recalled. Heidi Heitkamp and West Virginia Sen.

During the candidate vetting the last time, the White House asked all the contenders whom they would pick instead of themselves - and they all said Gorsuch, said the person, who was not authorized to disclose private conversations.

White House aides said other names are in the mix as well. "I would say that he is among the most powerful justices since at least 1937".

When the justice in the middle is ideologically distinct, it's harder for either side to form a majority coalition, which makes the median justice central in not just choosing a side but shaping the contours of the court's opinion. Trump has narrowed his list of Supreme Court finalists to five candidates, including two women. McConnell told Fox News that Republicans believe some combination of Democratic support is possible.

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