Originally appointed by President Ronald Reagan, Justice Kennedy stepped over partisan lines frequently throughout 30 years on the bench. Despite support for conservative campaign finance laws and loose gun regulations, Kennedy was instrumental in legalizing same-sex marriage in 2015 and has supported abortion rights at every turn.
Now that Kennedy has announced his resignation, President Trump has indicated that he will nominate a strongly conservative replacement, potentially creating a 5-4 right-wing majority with no justices willing to break from party lines.
Less than two years into his first term, Trump has already appointed one Supreme Court Justice – Neil Gorsuch. “So it will be somebody from that list.”
But despite a Republican-led Senate that could confirm any presidential nominee with a simple majority vote, Democratic lawmakers have sprung into action to either delay or entirely block Trump’s selection.
With enough Republican power in the Senate to confirm a potential judge without any Democratic approval, leftist legislators are looking towards other avenues of delay, including advertising campaigns and research initiatives to discredit any advanced nominees.
But if those attempts are unsuccessful, Democrats in Washington are pulling no punches when they describe Kennedy’s open seat as a potential disaster for the issues of same-sex marriage, abortion rights, and other Supreme Court rulings that make up the fabric of American society.