Justice Kennedy shocked America when he announced he would be stepping down from the Supreme Court. President Ronald Reagan appointed Kennedy near the end of his second term in 1988. He is notorious for providing the swing vote on important issues.
President Trump now has the opportunity to add another member to the Supreme Court, shaping the court for generations to come. This comes after several rulings fell in favor of the Constitution (as they always should.) Now comes the hard part: picking a nominee that can stand up to scrutiny and will rule in favor of the current laws in place. President Trump has several strong choices he can make.
Senator Mike Lee, 47
Senator Mike Lee is a strong constitutionalist and is seen by many as the best choice. Senator Ted Cruz said of Lee:
The reason why I think the best choice that President Trump could make is Mike Lee is because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Mike Lee would be faithful to the Constitution and Bill of Rights and that he’s not going to evolve and turn into a David Souter.
According to a study, Lee is the choice that would be the most like Justice Scalia. Not only would Lee be the best choice when it comes to his positions, he also would likely be the easiest to confirm in the Senate. Mike Lee is a strong, safe choice for this position.
Amy Barrett, 46
Amy Coney Barrett is a former clerk to Justice Scalia and served as a Notre Dame Law Professor. Barrett’s religious viewpoints were notably attacked by Senator Dianne Feinstein during her confirmation hearing for her position on the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Michael Dougherty at National Review writes why he believes those attacks would continue in a confirmation to the Supreme Court. He says
The facts of Barrett’s life — that she is a mother of seven children, and that when she speaks about her Catholic faith, she speaks about God as if she really believes in His existence — will provoke nasty and bigoted statements from Democratic senators and liberal media personalities. Again.
Aside from being a strong constitutionalist, she would also teach Americans a lesson about the nastiness of the Left.
Brett Kavanaugh, 52
Judge Kavanaugh is described as a constitutional conservative. He clerked for Justice Kennedy after graduating from Yale University. George W. Bush appointed Kavanaugh to the Federal Appeals Court. Sarah Pitlyk at National Review writes
On the vital issues of protecting religious liberty and enforcing restrictions on abortion, no court-of-appeals judge in the nation has a stronger, more consistent record than Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
While many see him as a safe choice, there are also many that are skeptical of him. Critics have noted that he ruled in favor of Obamacare and has stated that he believes it is in the government’s favor to provide birth control. Pro-life groups have been lobbying against Kavanaugh and in favor of Barrett.
It will be interesting to see what direction President Trump takes. Trump has a list from which he said he will choose. The decision will come on July 9th, and with Trump, anything is possible.