While we don’t know the timetable, a Supreme Court battle could erupt soon.
All that has to happen for a Supreme Court battle to break out is for a Justice to announce his resignation. The most likely candidate for this is Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Both Democrats and Republicans are getting ready to lobby and campaign for their candidate to get the nomination.
This is another reason conservatives must vote in November. If the democrats gain seats in the House, it will make taking back the Supreme Court more difficult.
There is no vacancy at the Supreme Court, but liberal and conservative activists are ready to do battle over one.
The potential retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy — the deciding vote on dozens of controversial cases over a 30-year career — has energized both sides for what likely would be the most divisive confirmation battle in decades.
Strategy sessions are being held with increasing frequency. Commercial messages are being crafted in favor and against any potential nominee. Moderate senators on both sides of the political aisle whose votes will be critical already have targets on their backs.
Unlike last year, when Justice Neil Gorsuch of Colorado was confirmed to the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a fellow conservative, any nominee chosen by President Trump would push the court further to the right. That has liberal interest groups on high alert.
“It’s hard to fathom something more important to our rights and freedoms, and especially at this critical time for our democracy,” says Kristine Lucius, executive vice president for policy at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 200 organizations. “I think you would see engagement larger than you’ve seen in recent memory.”
Conservative groups that came together in the $17 million campaign leading to Gorsuch’s confirmation a year ago are prepared for a similar effort to unify Republicans around the next nominee.
“We have a policy of always being ready,” says Carrie Severino, chief counsel at the Judicial Crisis Network, which ran television ads in key states aimed at pressuring wavering Republicans and Democrats. “We are prepared for a vacancy, whenever that might be.”
Both sides are ready for a reason. The last justices to retire, David Souter and John Paul Stevens, announced their plans in April 2009 and 2010. Their successors, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, were nominated in May, confirmed in August and hearing cases by October.
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