Friday, 22 February, 2019

Trump Supreme Court pick set for July 9; two women under consideration

Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy was appointed in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan Carlos Barria Reuters Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy was appointed in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan
Theresa Hayes | 01 July, 2018, 01:08

Justice Kennedy, 81, announced in a letter to President Trump that he would be stepping down from the court on July 31.

"Those same justices were not deferential to President [Barack] Obama with respect to [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] and [Deferred Action for Parents of Americans], but they are showing extreme deference to this President on this proclamation even on the face of explicitly discriminatory public statements".

Despite the Republican majority, Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund says she's confident senators can be persuaded to hold off.

Some possible nominees being eyed include Thomas Hardiman, who serves alongside Trump's sister on the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Raymond Kethledge, a federal appeals court judge who clerked for Kennedy.

"I like them all", he said.

Trump said Wednesday he would chose Kennedy's replacement from an existing list of 25 candidates. Joe Biden (in 1992) and Chuck Schumer (in 2007) that the Senate shouldn't confirm a nominee in the final year of a presidency.

The case has been central to the Trump administration's immigration policy, presenting a key test of the president's campaign promise to restrict immigration and secure America's borders. It's highly unlikely that Kennedy's successor will be in his tradition of a more moderate, center-right influence on the court's conservative wing.

But Trump said he would not directly probe the candidates about their position on the Roe v. Wade decision.

Furthermore, of the court's four liberals, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 85 and Justice Stephen Breyer turns 80 this summer, meaning Trump could have the chance to fill more openings. The White House said Trump's team also spoke with more than a dozen additional senators. At that moment, the politics of judicial confirmations entered their end stage: The Senate's majority now rules on when and who will get confirmed to the federal courts. The 63-year-old chief justice may be in no hurry to move quickly, as he could be on the bench another 15 to 20 years.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of the United States president and rejected claims that the travel ban represented unconstitutional religious discrimination, saying it fell "squarely within" the presidential powers.

"Referring to his statement of calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States, she said that "...this new window dressing can not hide an unassailable fact: "the words of the President and his advisers create the strong perception that the Proclamation is contaminated by impermissible discriminatory animus against Islam and its followers".

If Roe v. Wade is not overturned outright, expect it to become much easier for states to impose extreme restrictions on access to abortion.

While their attempt this term fell short, when the case was punted on a technicality, a concurrence from Justice Elena Kagan may have provided a path to attracting Kennedy's vote.