Will the center hold when Anthony Kennedy retires?


CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin predicted on Wednesday that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announcing his retirement and vacating a spot for President Donald Trump to fill meant Roe v. Wade, the landmark case establishing the right to abortion access, was "doomed".

The Republican Party is determined to fill Justice Kennedy's seat before the court's 2018 term and mid-term elections begin in October and November respectively. "I think that's something the American people simply will not tolerate".

The justice's decision, to be effective on July 31, gives President Donald Trump the second chance to nominate a justice. But Republicans were twice as likely to say it's the right amount of partisan - 22% to Democrats' 11% and independents' 10%. This is an important moment as we look to the future of the court. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a confirmation hearing, he said, followed by a vote on whether to recommend that the nominee be confirmed by the full Senate.

Many if not all of those holdings would be at risk in a court with five consistent conservatives, the oldest being 69-year-old Justice Clarence Thomas. Kennedy's successor is less likely than him to get in their way.

Kennedy was nominated in 1987 by President Reagan to the court, after Robert Bork's nomination failed and Douglas Ginsburg was pressured to withdraw after questions were raised about his admission he had smoked marijuana several times.

"I encourage the President to choose a nominee with the credentials, intellect and commitment to the rule of law necessary to serve on the Supreme Court", Grassley said.

Kennedy joined the court in 1988 and replaced the previous swing vote, Justice Lewis Powell.

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Kennedy was not always aligned with liberal judges on reproductive rights and abortion; he voted to uphold the partial-birth abortion ban in Gonzales v. Carhart in 2007.

McConnell refused to act on Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland, and the seat was left open until after the 2016 presidential election, allowing Trump to nominate Justice Neil Gorsuch. With a scant 51-49 Republican majority and a hot-and-cold relationship with a mercurial president, the path to confirming a new justice is far from guaranteed to be smooth.

Mr Trump's nominee is likely to give the conservatives a solid majority and will face a Senate process in which Republicans hold the slimmest majority, but Democrats can not delay confirmation.

"We have a very excellent list of great, talented, highly intelligent, hopefully tremendous people", he said.

When Erman learned the news of Kennedy's retirement, he said it "made me very sad to hear he was retiring because he had been a great boss". A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, he worked as the Missouri state director for GOP nominee Bob Dole's presidential campaign in 1996 and went on to serve as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri before the Senate in 2004 confirmed him to his current job in a 97-to-1 vote.

Karen Tumlin, of the pro-immigration National Immigration Law Center, said that "a decision like this does shake one's belief", and that she and the rest of the organization "will turn to continuing a longer fight for justice".

The president said he would review an existing list of 25 candidates for the opening. Finally, in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), he led the Court in recognizing a constitutional right to gay marriage.