In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court bench handed over President Trump one of his biggest victories since taking charge of the White House in January a year ago, by upholding his executive order that sought ban on travelling from five Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
Sources indicated to Fox News six federal appeals court judges - Thomas Hardiman, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Amul Thapar, Joan Larsen and Raymond Kethledge - are considered early frontrunners, though others could be under consideration too, as Trump said Wednesday he will choose someone from his previously released list of 25 candidates. But he was blocked by Senate Republicans, who refused to approve a Supreme Court nominee during a presidential election year.
Republicans changed the rules during Gorsuch's confirmation to wipe out the main delaying tactic for Supreme Court nominees, the filibuster, and the need for 60 votes to defeat it.
Furthermore, of the court's four liberals, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 85 and Justice Stephen Breyer turns 80 this summer, meaning that Trump could have the chance to fill more openings. It would also have prevented gay people from marrying and ended university admissions programs that take race into account, she said.
Trump is in a similar spot like former president George W. Bush, when the former appointed a more conservative justice, Samuel Alito in place of moderate justice Sandra Day O'Connor in 2006. He is a Georgetown University Law Center alumnus and is also reportedly the favorite of Trump's sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, with whom he serves on the US Court of Appeals. And in decisions announced this week, Kennedy voted with the majority to uphold the third iteration of Trump's so-called travel ban and to free public workers from paying mandatory fees to labor unions.
Trump praised Kennedy as a man of "tremendous vision" and said his search for a new justice would begin "immediately".
"This vacancy on our nation's highest court is a critical one", Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, told Baptist Press. "As I said, I'm looking specifically at two women". The White House said Trump's team also spoke with more than a dozen additional senators.
Kennedy's departure at the end of July will give Trump the opportunity to appoint his second justice to the nine-seat bench, which exerts a deep and far-reaching influence on American life. The Supreme Court allowed it to go largely into effect in December while the legal challenge continued.
She noted that Trump has previously pledged "to nominate only pro-life judges to the Supreme Court".
If Roe v. Wade is not overturned outright, expect it to become much easier for states to impose extreme restrictions on access to abortion.
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy says he is retiring.