Despite Republican’s history of blocking Supreme Court nominees ahead of elections, the president is set to announce Anthony Kennedy’s replacement tonight.
UPDATED 07:34 P.M. PST: The president has announced that Judge Brett Kavanaugh will replace Anthony Kennedy. Read more →
When Antonin Scalia died in February 2016, there was still nearly a year left in President Barack Obama’s presidency. Mitch McConnell, however, argued that it was too close to an election for Obama to appoint a nominee and that the people deserved the opportunity to vote first.
There are only 16 weeks until the November midterms, but McConnell isn’t singing the same tune this time around.
He has reportedly narrowed it down to four potential nominees, with Judge Amy Coney Barrett considered to be the favorite.
Barrett belongs to the Catholic group “People of Praise,” which reportedly requires members to “swear an oath of loyalty and give each other input on personal life decisions.”
The Times reports that she has said that she would like to see abortion rights changed.
Also in the running is Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who ruled against the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, as well as abortion rights.
He also joined a panel of judges last fall in issuing an order that prevented an undocumented immigrant teenager from accessing an abortion while in U.S. detention.
Democratic and Republican voters alike are pressuring their representatives to hold strong against the appointment and to insist that McConnell’s precedent be adhered to.
Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) are under particular pressure from their constituents as Republicans who could block the appointment.
Pro-choice activists have reportedly sent coat hangers to Collins’ offices in Washington as a reminder that if she does not oppose the appointment, her legacy will be back-alley abortions and the deaths of countless women and children.
Check back this evening for updates to this story.