President-elect Donald Trump’s term could be defined by his Supreme Court nominees.
Senate Republicans held a Supreme Court seat vacant for the next president. Now that it’s President-elect Donald Trump and a Republican majority in the Senate, what happens next?
The election results end the hopes for President Barack Obama’s long-languishing pick for the Supreme Court, Judge Merrick Garland, since Republicans still control the Senate’s confirmation process. Donald Trump released a list of 21 potential Supreme Court nominees who were generally met with approval by conservative lawmakers, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky will continue to hold the high court seat vacant for a Trump pick.
At stake is the ideological balance of the Supreme Court for decades.
A Trump win eliminates the potential for the first liberal majority since 1970. In addition to the current vacancy, three justices are older than 78 and could leave the court during the Trump administration — meaning Trump would be able to recast the Supreme Court for a generation with his choices.
Trump said repeatedly in stump speeches that preventing liberal justices from being appointed to the court was a reason conservatives should vote for him, particularly on gun rights.
“They’ll respect the Second Amendment and what it stands for, what it represents,” Trump said during a debate.