In few hours, President Trump will reveal his choice of a Supreme Court nominee at 9 p.m. on July 9th from the East Room of the White House in a dramatic, reality television-style presentation that will kick-start a furious confirmation battle just four months before the midterm elections. The nominee will replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is stepping down from the court at the end of July.
He will announce his pick from a list of four top contenders, Brett Kavanaugh (D.C. Circuit), Raymond Kethledge (Sixth Circuit), Thomas Hardiman (Third Circuit) and Amy Coney Barrett (Seventh Circuit). Trump spent the weekend soliciting opinions from dozens of people about the Supreme Court nomination but said “You can’t go wrong” with any of his four finalists. Critics say that Trump is wrestling with a decision that is crucial to his legacy and that could tip the court’s years long balance firmly toward conservatives.
There has been a lot of controversy and debate over President Trump's pick for the Supreme Court, The debate over the Supreme Court is raising the issue of abortion rights to a level of prominence that hasn’t been seen in years, creating an unpredictable and dangerous environment for incumbents in the midterm election.
Democrats fear that Mr. Trump’s nominee could favour the reversal of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision that established the constitutional right to an abortion. Democrats say the prospect that the Senate will confirm a Trump nominee who could overturn the Roe v. Wade decision, legalising abortion, will bring an army of Democrats to the polls, to the detriment of Republicans, particularly in the House.
In the Senate, Republicans think a big battle over the court and abortion could cost Democrats seats they are defending this fall in Indiana, West Virginia, North Dakota, Missouri and possibly Montana.
Before Trump's announcement a top Democratic Senator suggested sacrificing Senate seats to stop the nomination, saying that stopping the nominee is more important than the upcoming midterm elections. Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said to reporters that Democrats may be tempted to vote for Trump's selection out of political necessity but urged his colleagues to consider more than their political careers.
“Beyond the procedure, beyond the gamesmanship, it is a life-and-death important decision to be made by this court on so many issues, we take this matter seriously, it's a historic decision. It's about more than the next election. It's about what future the United States of America is going to chart, It's about more than the next election,” he said.
On the other side, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham called the situation a veritable "nightmare" for Democrats hanging onto their vulnerable seats in states that largely support Trump.
At the end of the day, Only 50 votes are needed to confirm a justice in the senate (out of a total of 100 member votes), because Senate Republicans eliminated the filibuster for Supreme Court justices last year. A filibuster is a prolonged speech by a senator, aimed at prolonging debate and delaying a vote. Democrats acknowledge how hard it would be to stop a nominee who has unanimous support among Senate Republicans.