Trump eyeing a Supreme Court pick to serve for decades

Pablo Tucker
June 28, 2018

"There used not to be filibusters of judges until the George W. Bush presidency, and now all the filibuster activity and precedents have been overruled, so we are looking at 51 to confirm or 50 plus the vice president", Cornyn said. Picture taken on June 23, 2018. He clerked twice for [now Supreme Court Justice Samuel] Alito.

If Republicans unite behind Trump's selection, there's little that Democrats can do to stop it. Republicans changed the Senate rules a year ago so that Supreme Court nominees cannot be filibustered, meaning only 51 votes will be required to confirm.

"While liberals have been able to pick off a number of crucial victories in years past on hotly contested matters, they will nearly always fall short in the future without Justice Kennedy on the bench now".

Kennedy was not at all a staunch supporter of abortion rights; he authored the decision upholding the federal ban on so-called "partial birth abortions" in Gonzales v. Carhart.

That list included two judges with Michigan connections: Judge Raymond Kethledge, on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, and then-Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen, who past year was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to join Kethledge on the Sixth Circuit.


But the restrictions on North Korea and Venezuela were not part of the legal challenge.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) celebrated the ruling by tweeting from his campaign account a photograph of himself shaking hands with Gorsuch.

But while the Kennedy seat might be lost to Democrats, there's a very different angle that Democrats can take - and already are - to prevent a further conservative tilt of the Supreme Court under Trump's term: politics.

Following Trump's announcement of his "Muslim ban" previous year, the country witnessed a wave of Islamophobia. In the year since the Gorsuch vote, the Senate has added one more Democratic moderate whose next election is looming on the horizon: Doug Jones of Alabama, who faces re-election in 2020.

But Trump's selections for the court have been largely influenced by the staunchly conservative Heritage Foundation, meaning their positions on key issues like Roe will be thoroughly vetted to meet conservative priorities.


After months of sparse activity in PredictIt's "Who will be Trump's next Supreme Court nominee?" contracts, trading was brisk following Kennedy's retirement announcement.

Trump's first high court nominee, Justice Neil Gorsuch, was confirmed in April 2017. "If we get a justice even more reliably conservative than Justice Kennedy, I'd expect that to be an even more extreme trend".

He said Americans want justices who will defend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, while Democrats want "judicial activists". But the Council on American-Islamic Relations (Cair) said in a statement: "The Muslim ban's bigotry should have been as clear to the supreme court as it is to the Muslims demonized by it".

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who served as the vice chairman of Trump's transition team, told Fox: "When he first announced it, he said "Muslim ban".

"I never thought I'd say this... but you're only 81!"


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