In one of the most unpredictable and hard-fought election seasons of our time, Donald Trump has triumphed over his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. The results will have a huge impact on the much-awaited appointment of a Supreme Court judge following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, and for years to come.
In September, Trump released an expanded list of his potential nominees for the Supreme Court, CBS News reported.
Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, Neil Gorsuch, Margaret Ryan, Edward Mansfield, Keith Blackwell, Charles Canady, Timothy Tymkovich, Amul Thapar, Frederico Moreno, and Robert Young are some of the names included on Trump’s list of potential nominees.
While these may be some of Trump’s choices, not all of them endorsed the billionaire businessman for president. For example, Lee refused to endorse him even after the Supreme Court list of nominations was made public. At the time, CBS called the inclusion of Lee on the list "a play for former rival Sen. Ted Cruz’s support and endorsement."
Trump's expanded rundown built on the list of 11 potential nominees that first circulated in May, following long speculation over who the GOP nominee might choose to fill Scalia’s empty seat.
Here are five ways Trump’s win could play out for the Supreme Court:
1. A more conservative Scalia replacement — Trump, in all likelihood, could select a more conservative judge than Scalia, who was known to have a somewhat liberal streak when it came to things like sentencing guidelines and criminal law, Bloomberg’s Noah Feldman noted.
2. A fairly moderate judge more suitable for a Trump presidency — Another possibility has Trump selecting a more moderate judge who would take a more liberal approach, Bloomberg predicted. What could backfire in such a situation is withdrawal of support from fellow Republicans in that Senate Republicans could block such a nominee.
3. Liberal judges on their way out — With the arrival of Trump, liberal voices could be at stake if justices like Stephen Breyer, who is 78, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is 83, retired or stepped down, David Morris wrote for The Huffington Post.
4. No more Merrick — Scalia's death left the court split with four liberals and four conservatives. President Barack Obama’s choice of U.S. appeals court judge Merrick Garland will certainly not see light under Trump’s rule. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been adamant on not considering Garland, Newsweek reported.
5. Reassuring conservative court-watchers — Trump’s list of nominees includes hardcore Republicans, meaning that the billionaire businessman wants to reassure conservative court-watchers, especially on social issues and executive power, CNN reported.
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