Supreme Court justice's retirement is a gift for Donald Trump

Protesters gather at a rally in Washington on Oct. 17 2017. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS  Manuel Balce Ceneta

And this debate over the court is already starting to go nuclear with yesterday's retirement by Anthony Kennedy, the swing vote on so many issues, as both sides gear up for battle over a Trump nominee who will undoubtedly push the Supremes significantly to the right.

But here's the most important thing to note: Constitutionally, the Senate can consider a president's Supreme Court nominee whenever it wants.

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bob Young, Jr.

President Trump said that he found out about Kennedy's retirement a half-hour before it was announced - he had in fact gone to the White House to talk to the president for about 30 minutes, and Kennedy offered recommendations about who might replace him, the president told reporters during a meeting with the president of Portugal.

Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe agreed.

He recalled that Obama's own vice president, Joe Biden, had made the case for such a delay - in 1992, when he chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee. At one point, Feinstein asked Barrett if the "dogma lives loudly in her". To its critics, the Trump ban seems like a religious test.

Raymond Kethledge, 51, of MI, a 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals judge.

His critics worry about an anti-union opinion he issued in a case brought by public school employees.

In a 5-4 ruling in Carpenter v United States, Roberts joined the court's liberal bloc to rule that police needed a search warrant to access phone records, including the detailed caller location history that can be gleaned from cell tower data. Cruz clerked for the late chief justice William Rehnquist.

Top Democrat Chuck Schumer said in a televised speech on the floor of the Senate that Mr Kennedy's replacement would be a decision affecting "generations" and therefore the confirmation vote should not take place until after the mid-terms. Thomas, nominated by George H.W. Bush, was confirmed by only 52 senators, 41 Republicans and 11 Democrats. In 2007, Thapar was the first American of South Asian descent to be named to an Article III federal judgeship.

Since the "nuclear option" was enacted by McConnell past year, it appears as if there is little Democrats, who are in the minority, can do to stop a Supreme Court pick. He is close friends with GOP Sen.

The harder challenge could be from Trump's own party in the Senate, where without Democratic votes, Trump would require the support of Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski.

Justice Kennedy, who turns 82 in July and is the second-oldest justice on the nine-member court, has become one of the most consequential USA jurists since joining the court in 1988 as an appointee of Republican President Ronald Reagan.

They also look at the political ramifications of Kennedy's retirement and how lawmakers are responding to the news. Kennedy has also voted against poor conditions in prisons, and has been an outspoken voice generally for sentencing and prison reform - even outside the court. "I've never taken that position". Born in MA, he attended the University of Notre Dame as an undergrad and then went to Georgetown University Law Center.

Foster believes that Gorsuch is an implication of future seats to be filled.

His judicial paper trail includes a dissent in a case where the majority upheld a New Jersey law that prohibits handgun possession without a permit. Mr. Trump did not answer questions about who Kennedy recommended.

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