Supreme Court ends term without retirement

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Trump says in the Oval Office that he hasn't "really thought about that".

The court could well decide the outcome of the recent family separation crisis at the border, too, and existential questions about the Trump presidency itself if that is where Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE's investigation leads.

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin says it would be tough to support someone who would revamp the landmark decision.

"I was taught that two wrongs don't make a right", she said in a statement.

Conservative activists said Wednesday the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy gives Republicans a much-needed boost headed into tough midterm elections for Congress.

Few obstacles seem to stand in the way of confirming Kennedy's replacement before the court reconvenes in October. "The idea of Trump having his choice to fill another vacancy is terrifying for not only abortion rights, but for our ability to live free from discrimination in this country".

Democrats need to flip just 24 Republican-held seats to seize control of the chamber. Donnelly has traveled with Trump on Air Force One, and appeared alongside the president at a recent bill signing ceremony at the White House.

Speaking earlier in the day in Wisconsin, Trump said: "We're going to pick ourselves one great United States Supreme Court justice to take the place of a great man".

Or Trump could go with a more renegade and overtly political pick, such as Sen. Gorsuch cleared the Senate - only after McConnell pushed through a rules change to end the filibuster on Supreme Court nominees and lower the threshold for confirmation from 60 to a simple majority - with 54 votes. The search, the president said, will begin immediately, and Kennedy's replacement will be chosen from the list of 25 candidates he considered a year ago, when he ultimately chose Gorsuch.

Some possible nominees being eyed include Hardiman, who serves alongside Trump's sister on the Philadelphia-based 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals, and Kethledge, a federal appeals court judge who clerked for Kennedy.

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A third top contender was Amy Coney Barrett, a federal appeals court judge in IN, who was assigned an 11 percent probability of appointment, according to PredictIt.

Social media outbursts after Kennedy's announcement Wednesday suggested that this fight will be every bit as brutal as was the confirmation of Gorsuch a year ago by a vote of 54-45. Leo said he expected that work to start before Trump leaves on July 10 for a trip to Europe, adding that it was "not outside the realm of possibility" that the search process could conclude by then.

A lawsuit filed Tuesday by New York, California and 15 other states also cites Trump's statement referring to Mexicans crossing the border as rapists as evidence that the border separation policy is consistent with what it calls Trump's demonstrated bias against Latin Americans.

The unlikely marriage between the thrice-married president and Christian conservatives has always been focused on Trump's ability to re-shape the nation's judicial branch.

Gorsuch has a sparse record on abortion, but has drawn praise from anti-abortion groups and criticism from abortion rights supporters. "We all just live in it".

Also, a Supreme Court appointment is for life, or until the person retires, to insulate the court from politics. "What we're seeing here is Gorsuch 2.0".

When asked if he thinks its fair to bring up a Supreme Court nominee during an election year, after blocking President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland in 2016, McConnell told reporters: "There's no presidential election this year".

On the Democratic side are several senators up for re-election in conservative states: Sens. And the Trump White House, while disorganized in other areas, made its relationship with the religious right a priority.

So whoever Trump nominates will nearly certainly be confirmed, nearly certainly before the midterms?

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