Trump's next Supreme Court justice appointment will cement legacy: Sean Spicer

Jun 29, 2018, 18:34
Trump's next Supreme Court justice appointment will cement legacy: Sean Spicer

Mr Trump is likely to choose a more conservative candidate to replace Mr Kennedy, which could shift the highest court in the land to the right for decades to come.

He notified President Trump in a letter Wednesday, telling him that effective July 31, he would "end my regular active status as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, while continuing to serve in a senior status".

Kennedy was appointed by Ronald Reagan, and has held the key vote on such high-profile issues as abortion, affirmative action, gay rights, guns, campaign finance and voting rights. The search, the president said, will begin immediately, and Kennedy's replacement will be chosen from the list of 25 candidates he considered past year, when he ultimately chose Gorsuch.

Republicans now hold a bare 51-49 majority in the Senate, although that includes the ailing Senator John McCain of Arizona.

In the early days of Donald Trump's presidency, many progressive Americans dared to believe that maybe, just maybe, his election victory would not prove as consequential as they first feared.

The court's four liberal justices dissented. But so far they have shown zero interest in any sort of delay in getting a second Trump justice onto the bench, with McConnell planning confirmation hearings in August and a Senate debate and vote as soon as possible thereafter. Republicans changed the rules during Gorsuch's confirmation to wipe out the main delaying tactic for Supreme Court nominees, the filibuster, and the need for 60 votes to defeat it. If the Senate divides 50-50, Vice President Mike Pence could break a tie to confirm the nominee.

He was often referred to as the "swing vote" between the four more liberal and four more reliably conservative justices now presiding over the court.

Contrary to Matthews' fiery advice, Democrats in the minority have little power to block the nominations of the Republican president, unlike the Republicans who were in the majority when Obama was in power.