As the curtains came down on the tenure of the Supreme Court for 2017-18, it paved the way for President Donald Trump nominating a Supreme Court Judge to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his plans for retirement at the closure. It gave Trump the opportunity of making a second appointment to the Supreme Court in the last 18 months that will allow him to reinforce conservative control of the court for many years to come.
The process of selection comprised of four candidates making the shortlist and Trump spending 45 minutes with each contender to evaluate them. Trump is eager to select a candidate who could facilitate the rightward inclination that he wants to impart to the judiciary and had shown interest in the following persons.
Amy Coney Barrett, Bret Kavanaugh both Federal appeals court judges were the top contenders along with also Thomas Hardiman of the 3rd US Circuit Courtof Appeals based in Philadelphia, Amul Thapar of the 6th Circuit and Raymond Kethledge of 6th US Circuit Courtof Appeals based in Ohio, Cincinnati. Several teams of attorneys from the Department of Justice and the White House Counsel’s Office assisted Trump in the selection process by ensuring that he had all the information he needs to decide on the matter.
The issue ended on July 9 with Trump announcing his choice of Bret Kavanaugh as his nominee to the Supreme Court to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy. Although the process of selection has concluded, it has ignited the fuse for a bitter political war as the court is set to take a more conservative course in future. In this article, we will try to look at the reasons behind the selection and its effects on the political ambitions of President Donald Trump.
Fulfilling a long-cherished dream
For the past 30 years, Conservative activists have been relentlessly pushing for establishing a reliable conservative majority in the highest judicial platform of the nation that could influence the direction of law for long many years, observed a DUI lawyer Denver Colorado. All these days, the Republicans had frustrated the Conservative efforts of turning their dream into reality and had been able to influence the Supreme Court appointees in taking a left inclined approach. Finally, the moment has arrived for the Conservatives to create a bench that remains committed to their principles. Hopes are high among the Conservatives that at last, they would be able to see a Conservative Court for the first time since the 1930s.
The Conservatives pin their hopes on President Trump’s ability to navigate the rough waters of the Senate and push through Kavanaugh’s nomination as the country heads for midterm election season, fraught with uncertainties.
A Conservative team in the court
Assuming that the President succeeds in confirming his nominated candidate, Judge Kavanaugh who is currently sitting at the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Columbia district would be in the elite company of some other Conservative minded judges in the Supreme Court. The team led by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will have Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr., Clarence Thomas, Neil M. Gorsuch, and Bert Kavanaugh as other members. The Conservative majority would be much more consistent than before.
The court swings again
The court always has experienced fluctuations from one side to the other throughout its history. Sometimes it moved towards the left, then again moved right only to come back to its earlier position with the possibility of swinging in the opposite direction once again. Some presidents had tried to work out friendly majorities that have become infamous for the failed experiment in court packing scheme of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937. However, the formation of the Supreme Court bench this time has no parallel because never before had anyone seen the use of a political apparatus systematically to engineer a more dependable Supreme Court that would maintain a Conservative approach throughout the life of a generation.
Passing the Senate test
President Donald Trump is now waiting to see that his nominated candidate Judge Bert Kavanaugh sails through the Senate proceedings and earns the confidence of the members to confirm his place in the Supreme Court. To get a Supreme Court justice through the Senate all that is required is a simple majority according to the latest rules framed last year. The scene is set for a close battle as the Republicans have a slender majority in the chamber with 51 seats to 49 of Democrats. Theoretically, it should enable them to confirm a new Justice without any help from Democrats.
But the ground reality is a bit tricky due to the year-long absence of Senator John McCain of R-AZ for health reasons. If McCain remains in the seat but is unable to vote then the difference would be of just one with numbers reading Republicans 50 and Democrats 49. There is enough drama in store because any partisan defection of Republicans could empower him or her to sink a nomination. All eyes would be on red-state Democrats and moderate Republicans that constitute the two main swing blocs.
Kavanaugh’srecords will come under scrutiny
To gather clues about how Kavanaugh would vote on the issue of abortion in case there is a review of the landmark decision of 1973 guaranteeing a woman’s right to have an abortion, Kavanaugh’s record will come under scrutiny. It is on record that in 2017 Kavanaugh had opposed the move by a 17-year-old undocumented immigrant seeking abortion while in federal custody although his voice got drowned amidst his colleague’s loud support for termination of pregnancy.
Kavanaugh’s vote could also become very important to decide on whether the ongoing investigation in Trump’s alleged Russian collusion should move forward in the direction of criminal prosecution. He must be ready to answer questions about his earlier stand that a sitting president should be insulated from indictment as he believed that it would cripple the federal government which would stop functioning.
With President Trump openly declaring his intention to overturn the pro-abortion laws, Kavanaugh has to face an intriguing battle in convincing the Senate members to galvanize his appointment.