Two GOP Senators may flake on voting for President Donald J. Trump’s Supreme Court appointee upon the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy.
“I view Roe v. Wade as being settled law. It’s clearly precedent and I always look for judges who respect precedent,” Collins said.
Murkowski issued a statement in which she praised Kennedy for “holding the Court together and doing right by the Constitution,” adding that she would prefer a Kennedy-esque appointee.
That could spell trouble for for Trump’s nominee. Justice Kennedy is viewed as a centrist, and was often socially liberal.
“[Kennedy] was one of three ‘conservative’ Justices to uphold the decision in Roe V. Wade, a controversial case that essentially legalized abortion, in a 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
‘At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.’ From the founders’ belief in ‘created equal’ [by God], this language travels to the furthest opposite pole of individual self-definition, verging on self-creation,” Kennedy and his concurring Justices wrote in their opinion in Casey.”
BLP Passage Ends.
Republicans do not have a large buffer for turncoat voters in the Senate. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is on sabbatical battling brain cancer, leaving the Republicans with 50-49 margin. In the event of a tie, Vice President Mike Pence would cast the tie-breaking vote. Two Republicans who oppose Trump’s pick could doom the nominee.
It is highly unlikely that any Democrat will vote for a Trump nominee.
Mitch McConnell Preparing Exit Strategies, Potential Successors in Advance of Possible Retirement
Will Mitch retire?
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has reportedly created a shortlist of potential successors, with the establishment Republican considering a possible retirement before his term ends. McConnell was reelected to another Senate term in 2020, and the Intercept broke the news of his retirement considerations on Thursday.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is reportedly McConnell’s first pick for his successor. Former UN Ambassador Kelly Craft and Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams are also possible replacements. McConnell, 79, has served as a Kentucky Senator since 1985.
Kentucky law currently would allow Governor Andy Beshear- a Democrat- to appoint McConnell’s successor if he retired. However, McConnell is pushing for the Republican state legislature to pass reforms allowing them to select replacements for Senators who have resigned. McConnell’s quiet boosting of legislative reforms to appoint interim Senators led to the reports of his potential retirement, although it’s unclear when he plans to leave the picture.
McConnell largely alienated the Republican Party with a forceful denunciation of former President Donald Trump during the second sham impeachment trial targeting the President, although he declined to vote to convict the President on the basis of legality. A Republican candidate in the mold of McConnell’s 20th century style would have a difficult time winning a Kentucky GOP primary, and McConnell’s appointed pick may start off in such an election with a considerable handicap. In addition, the legacy Senator remains popular in Kentucky, although at least one county party censured him for his betrayal of Trump in January.
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