Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement on June 27th, and ever since we’ve all been curious (to put it mildly) whom the president would appoint to fill the position.
It’s hard to overstate how much is at stake here; the next Supreme Court appointee could possibly overturn Roe v. Wade or gay marriage, and will absolutely form and shape life in this country for decades.
Trump has reportedly narrowed the field down to three potential choices. Brett Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals; Amy Coney Barrett on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals; and Raymond Kethledge on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. All of these candidates are conservative… to varying degrees.
Trump intends to announce his top choice at 9 p.m. ET on Monday July 9.
Here’s where the candidates stand on the issues:
In the 2017 case of Garza v. Hagan, which determined whether or not an undocumented woman could have an abortion in ICE custody, Kavanaugh’s stance was that Kavanaugh honored Roe v. Wade as the precedent here, which suggests he wouldn’t overturn it if elected.
There isn’t much information available on Kavanaugh and LGBTQ+ issues. According to a piece in the LA Times, his rulings are “predictable” and he has a tendency to uphold court precedent, which could be a good thing in terms of upholding gay marriage.
That said, Kavanaugh is also known as an advocate of “religious freedom.” As we saw in the gay wedding cake case earlier this year, this can be a damaging thing.
In the case of Kavanaugh, it’s honestly hard to predict how things could turn out if he is appointed.
Kethledge was appointed by George W. Bush. According to Time, Kethledge has said he will uphold Supreme Court precedent. This would, of course, be good news for LGBTQ+ rights and women's rights.
He hasn’t made any rulings on LGBTQ+ rights or abortion so far in his career so nothing is completely clear.
Amy Coney Barrett
Trump appointee Judge Amy Coney Barrett is the most extreme of the three potential Supreme Court picks. She belongs to a highly conservative, controversial sect of Catholicism called “People of Praise,” and many are concerned her religious views could affect her work as a judge.
In 2013, she wrote an article in Texas Law Review arguing that Roe v. Wade and other similar cases needn’t be upheld as settled law. This kind of thinking could also, of course, threaten same-sex marriage rights.
In a 2006 commencement address at Notre Dame Law School, Barrett is quoted as saying:
“Your legal career is but a means to an end, and that end is building the Kingdom of God. “
Stay vigilant and informed.