Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already promised a swift vote on Anthony Kennedy’s replacement. My how times change. Democrats are ready to return the favor McConnell delivered them two years ago.
Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin has called on the Senate to wait to consider Trump's nominee to replace Justice Kennedy until the new Congress is seated in January. He cited precedent set by GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell's refusal to hold a vote on Merrick Garland. https://t.co/6nln2l2vlN pic.twitter.com/M8mapCmExj
— CNN (@CNN) June 27, 2018
Merrick Garland was nominated on March 16, 2016 — or 237 days before that year’s election. McConnell said that was too close to Election Day for Obama to pick and voters should decide.
Justice Kennedy announced his retirement today — 132 days before this year’s election.
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) June 27, 2018
Kennedy’s retirement announcement is perhaps the most consequential event of Donald Trump’s presidency and the far right has to be licking their chops over the possibility, and probability that the Supreme Court will soon be Trump-packed. What’s at stake? What’s not? Abortion rights, civil rights, gay rights. God help us but the Supreme Court could be nothing more than a rubber stamp for Trump’s agenda. From Vox.com:
“What will change are rulings on issues where Kennedy has helped maintain a shaky 5-4 center-left consensus. Because of the court’s longstanding principle of stare decisis, or obeying past precedent barring a compelling reason not to do so, some liberal Court achievements are likely to stay. But a Court without Kennedy is substantially more likely to:
- Overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states (and maybe the federal government too) to ban most or all abortions.
- Reject challenges to capital punishment and solitary confinement.
- Rule in favor of religious challenges to anti-discrimination law, and perhaps, in an extreme case, reverse some past Supreme Court rulings on gay rights.
- Bar government actors from engaging in explicit race-based affirmative action.”
Justice Kennedy's retirement also affects:
Roe v. Wade (1973)
Kennedy has declined to overturn abortion decision
Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)
Kennedy cast deciding vote for marriage equality
Fisher v. University of Texas (2016)
Kennedy cast deciding vote for affirmative action
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) June 27, 2018
How very cool of Justice Kennedy to pour kerosene on the current dumpster fire that is America. The Roe v Wade riots should provide fine entertainment for him in his retirement.
— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) June 27, 2018
What will happen in the confirmation process? it’s going to be war.
“I think the Democrats have to fight this tooth and nail … The base will attack the leadership for this if they allow it to happen and they should. This is the time for vengeance for what happened 2 years ago.” @HardballChris on Kennedy’s retirement. pic.twitter.com/vovZUM4wFi
— Hardball (@hardball) June 27, 2018
Who will replace Kennedy? Donald Trump has said it will be someone from the original list of 25 names he announced before nominating Justice Gorsuch. Politico has the list, predictably packed with conservatives.