In 2003, he was nominated by Bush to the appeals court, but it took a recess appointment and a two-year standoff before Republicans and Democrats finally crafted a deal that confirmed him to the position.
The California native wrote the Supreme Court's four most significant gay rights cases and was also a key player in the court's decision to reaffirm a woman's right to an abortion.
Despite the Republican majority, Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund says she's confident senators can be persuaded to hold off. Orrin Hatch, a Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said this year is different than an election year.
"Will Republicans and President Trump nominate and vote for someone who will preserve protections for people with pre-existing conditions, or will they support a justice who will put health insurance companies over patients, or put the federal government between a woman and her doctor", Schumer said. He said the voices of millions of Americans heading to the polls this fall "deserve to be heard".
It's not a given that his successor will be opposed to reforms, however incremental, to the criminal justice system; the late Justice Antonin Scalia, for instance, sided at times with criminal defendants in major cases.
"I think we should just move ahead", he said.
De Sousa said he understood the significance because of his background as a constitutional lawyer.
On the heels of Justice Anthony Kennedy's announcement that he'll be retiring from the U.S. Supreme Court at the end of July, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released a statement that proclaims, "The Senate will vote to confirm Justice Kennedy's successor this fall".
Says the Kentucky Republican, "It's imperative that the president's nominee be considered fairly and not subjected to personal attacks". Those who savored those words also fretted over whom President Trump would appoint to replace Kennedy in a palpable expression of the significance of Kennedy's legacy, especially to those in the LGBTQ community.
Justice Anthony Kennedy announced Wednesday that he would retire, setting the stage for a furious fight over the future direction of the Supreme Court. Chris Hollen (D-MD) said Kennedy's replace should assume the bench after November.
The White House should honor Kennedy's legacy by discarding the Supreme Court short list generated by partisan special interests, and moving toward bipartisan consultation.
Kennedy's swing vote background creates disadvantages and opportunities for conservatives and liberals, according to Dr. Jay Barth, the M.E. and Ima Graves Peace Distinguished Professor of Politics at Hendrix College. Religious conservatives will consider this Providential and will, for perhaps the first time, thank God for Kennedy.
Muslim Advocates, an organization that has filed eight lawsuits related to the entrance policy, said they were totally hopeless but blasted the court battle as just "one fight in a broader battle against Trump's anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant agenda".
"For more than three decades, Justice Kennedy served with great distinction on the Supreme Court of the United States", he said in the statement.
He cast the deciding votes on gay marriage and gun ownership, prayer and privacy, campaign finance and capital punishment. He has advised Trump in the past on judicial picks.
"I'm anxious about Roe v. Wade", Merkley said in another tweet about the landmark decision in 1973 that recognized a woman's constitutional right to an abortion.
Still, Frenzen and other experts cautioned that the standard the Supreme Court adopted for evaluating Trump's travel ban was highly deferential to the president.
His decision will give President Donald Trump the chance to cement conservative control of the country's top court.
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