What’s at stake with the prospective Supreme Court justice decision? According to NowThis Senior Politics Producer Allan Piper, everything.
There are nine Supreme Court justices, and for a long time, four were generally liberal-leaning, four were generally conservative-leaning, and one was a swing voter. Under this system of justices, marriage equality was passed, Obamacare was upheld, and the Voting Rights Act was struck down — all with a final vote of 5-4. Needless to say, the swing vote has been an imperative part of almost every major Supreme Court decision in recent years.
When Senate Republicans blocked President Obama from appointing a Supreme Court justice of his choosing, this didn’t change the dynamic up at all, because a conservative judge was replaced with another conservative judge. But with the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy — the whole system will potentially shift dynamically.
It could also entail a lot more conservative-leaning rulings for the next several decades, which is bad news for women’s health rights. Trump has promised in the past that he would elect a judge to overturn Roe v. Wade — and if he succeeded — there are 14 states where abortion could become illegal automatically. The judges could also shape civil rights, voting rights, workers’ rights, and LGBTQ+ rights for decades — suffice to say there’s a lot at stake.