President Donald Trump has been looking to fill the high court for decades, and the first step in that process will come next month when the new president names the justices he wants to replace Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy.
The Trump administration has said that Trump will name five people, including two justices, to fill those seats.
That means Trump will nominate a pair of liberals to the court, and there’s a chance that one of those liberals will join the justices on the court in a couple of years.
In that way, Trump is giving up some of the traditional Republican tilt to the Supreme Court.
Trump’s choice of Justice Neil Gorsuch is also a strong candidate for the seat that is vacant, but the next president will need to fill it.
A Republican nominee could end up choosing one of the four Democrats to fill that seat.
The seat has been a major battleground in the presidential race, with Democrats hoping to make inroads into the seat, which was once considered a Democratic bastion and which Trump lost to Hillary Clinton in 2016.
While there are many issues that will be decided in the coming years, a strong conservative justice would be a huge boost to the future of the court.
Gorsuch’s nomination is likely to draw intense interest from conservatives, and Democrats are eager to get to the front of the line.
The Supreme Court has been dominated by liberals for the last half-century.
But a liberal nominee would put a conservative justice on the bench for the first time in the modern era.
Trump has also said he will nominate another conservative to the seat to give the conservatives a third seat, and conservatives are pushing back.
“A Supreme Court justice is a critical role of the federal judiciary and should not be reserved for a single party or a political party,” said Matt Schlapp, a senior fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.
“It is not the role of this body to decide which laws apply to the states or which laws affect Americans.”
A Republican-led Senate could reject the appointment.
If that happens, the president would have to choose a new nominee for the vacant seat, but that would not be a particularly difficult task.
Trump could appoint someone with a solid record in cases involving affirmative action, a controversial issue that was the subject of a legal challenge by the late Justice Antonin G. Scalia, and which would give conservatives a new court to question, said Laura Frick, a former Reagan administration official who now teaches law at the University of Chicago.
Scalia died in February 2018 at the age of 88, leaving behind a court that he worked to uphold and a court with an even more conservative jurisprudence.
But the Supreme House of Representatives did not meet until June, so Republicans in Congress are unlikely to take up the case any time soon.
Republicans are hoping to get back to work on the Senate confirmation process, but there are other obstacles.
The Senate is currently controlled by Democrats, and they are likely to filibuster any nominee for Scalia’s seat.
Democrats have been pushing for Garland to be confirmed, which is something they would have no difficulty doing if Trump names someone like Gorsuch.
Garland, however, has had his own troubles with Democrats in the Senate, and it’s unclear if he’ll be able to get a vote on a Supreme Court nominee for his nomination.
“The confirmation process for the Supreme Courts has always been extremely politicized, and that’s not going to change in the foreseeable future,” Frick said.
The next president could try to fill one of these vacancies himself, or have someone else try to do it.
If Trump picks someone to fill Scalia’s spot, he could be asked to nominate someone who has been on the Supreme court for years, said Michael McDonald, an associate professor at George Washington University Law School and a former Justice Department lawyer.
Trump said he would consider “a variety of people,” including former Justice Antonina M. Brinkema, who was the court’s second female justice.
“We’re talking about a former president who is going to be making a major announcement,” McDonald said.
“There’s been a lot of speculation that he’s going to try to nominate somebody that has been in the court for a long time.
That’s not something I think will be out of the question.”