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Who Will Donald Trump Pick to Replace Justice Anthony Kennedy?
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Justice Anthony Kennedy. Photo courtesy of The Chicago Tribune.

Summary: Pundits are guessing President Donald Trump will replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy with one of nine conservative picks. 

On Wednesday, moderate Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy shocked the nation when he announced his resignation. The 81-year-old will serve on the bench until July 31st.

  
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Kennedy, a Republican, was known as a swing vote. With his absence, the Supreme Court will have four conservatives and four liberal justices. President Donald Trump is expected to pick Kennedy’s replacement, and the Republican president will more likely pick a conservative instead of a moderate.

The conservative Supreme Court members are Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Samuel Alito, and Justice Neil Gorsuch. The liberal Supreme Court members are Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan.

Trump said that he will most likely pick a justice from the list he had created in 2017 before he announced his pick of Gorsuch, who has already made a conservative impact on the court with his votes on hot topic cases such as the Colorado baker case.

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Trump’s list of 25 Supreme Court candidates from 2017 can be found here, but Vox said that some of those candidates may likely not pass a screening. Because of this, the publication stated that Trump will most likely pick a candidate from the following nine: Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Thomas Hardiman, Amul Thapar, Raymond Kethledge, Joan Larsen, Britt Grant, Mike Lee, and William Pryor.

Vox made their list based on the app Predict It, which has created its own ranking system of who they think has the best odds of being chosen.



Vox’s Top Nine Conservative Picks for Justice Kennedy’s Replacement

  1. Brett Kavanaugh is a federal appellate judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Pundits state that he has one of the best chances of replacing Kennedy because he had clerked for the justice and has a long history and a high-profile in Republican legal circles.
  2. Amy Coney Baret is a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and at the age of 46, she is considered to be young and could be a conservative voice on the Supreme Court for many years to come. She was a former clerk of conservative Antonin Scalia.
  3. Thomas Hardiman is a federal appellate judge on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. He is known for being pro-law enforcement. For instance, he has said that the First Amendment does not give people the right to film police. Pundits said that he was Trump’s second choice for Neil Gorsuch’s position.
  4. Amul Thapar is a federal appellate judge on the Sixth Circuit. Brian Fitzpatrick of Vanderbilt Law said that Thapar was similar to Scalia and Thomas with his views.
  5. Raymond Kethledge is a federal appellate judge on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Vox stated, “Raymond Kethledge appears to be the kind of judge who very much enjoys telling people why they’re wrong.”
  6. Joan Larsen is a federal appellate judge on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and she was deputy assistant US attorney general from 2002 to 2003 and a former clerk to Justice Scalia.
  7. Britt Grant is a Georgia State Supreme Court Justice. “Her judicial resume is a bit thin for Supreme Court territory, though the bulk of her litigation experience comes from her time as Georgia’s solicitor general from 2015 to 2017, and before that, her work as the counsel for legal policy in the Office of the Georgia attorney general,” Vox said.
  8. Mike Lee is a US Senator from Utah who was once an enemy of Trump’s during the president’s campaign. However, he is now a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution. Lee is a firm Constitutionalist, and his friend Senator Ted Cruz endorses him for the justice position.
  9. William Pryor is a federal appellate judge on the Eleventh Circuit. Known for being anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ, Pryor is one of the more extreme conservatives on the short list.

Who do you think President Donald Trump will replace Justice Kennedy with? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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