What Anthony Kennedy's retirement could mean for SCOTUS - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

What Anthony Kennedy's retirement could mean for SCOTUS

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WSIL -- In just a few days, President Donald Trump will make his second nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This comes after 81-year old Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement last week following three decades on the bench.

"The court, long and short, is about to move to the right," said John Jackson, Professor of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

Jackson says it's likely the president will nominate a staunch conservative justice to replace Kennedy, who was long seen as the court's moderate.

Appointed by President Ronald Reagan, Kennedy often split from the more conservative wing, siding with his liberal colleagues, including in the landmark ruling that recognized same-sex marriage nationwide.

"President Trump is not going to name a moderate Republican," Jackson said. "He's going to name a very hardcore Republican like [former Justice Antonin] Scalia, like [Justice Neil] Gorsuch."

After being appointed by the President last year, Neil Gorsuch played a key role as the deciding vote in several high-profile cases, including the President's travel ban and Janus vs. AFSCME, which dealt a major blow to organized labor.

Democrats in Washington are calling for the president not to make a nomination until after November's midterm elections, hoping to retake the senate from Republicans and force a more moderate justice.

Jackson says that's simply not going to happen,and it's likely the president will choose someone who will sit on the bench for decades.

"They know and have been picking these very young justices and very successfully influencing the judicial branch for the next four decades," he said.

Kennedy's last day as Supreme Court Justice will be July 31.

President Trump has said he's down to five finalists and will announce his nomination on Monday.

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