After Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, What Happens Next With Supreme Court Vacancy?

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The death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has ignited a political battle over who will replace her in an already bitter presidential campaign with just 43 days to go before the election.

Ginsburg, 87, died Friday after a long battle with cancer. Within minutes, speculation and political arguments broke out over her successor.

Here is a look at what happens next in the process and some of the issues that will affect the country.

How does the confirmation process work?

President Trump wasted no time in publicly telling the Republican-led Senate to appoint his nomination “without delay.” On Monday, he said on "Fox and Friends" that he had narrowed his list of nominees to five people and would announce his pick "Friday or Saturday" out of deference to Ginsburg's funeral.

“And we want to pay respect. It looks like we will have probably services on Thursday, or Friday, as I understand it, and I think in all due respect we should we wait until the services are over for Justice Ginsburg," Trump said.

After Trump puts forward his nomination, the U.S. Senate will vote on whether to confirm his selection. 

Republicans control that chamber by a 53-47 margin, and could lose lose three votes but still uphold the president's choice. A 50-50 tie would be broken by a vote from Vice President Mike Pence.

Who is said to be on Trump's list?

On Monday, the president said he was mulling five women for the nation's high court. During his phone interview with Fox, he praised Barbara Lagoa, 52, first Hispanic woman to serve on the Florida Supreme Court.

She was appointed the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit by Trump last year. “She’s excellent, she’s Hispanic, she’s a terrific woman, from everything I know.” She is a member of the conservative Federalist Society and a devout Roman Catholic.

Amy Coney Barrett, 48, a Trump appointee to the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago, is also said to be on the short list. She also is a conservative, and a Roman Catholic. In public statements, she has endorsed restricting access to abortions, a key issue in the debate over who should replace Ginsburg. 

Joan Larsen, 51, was appointed in 2017 by Trump to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Michigan. She was a law professor and clerked for the late justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative icon. She has not publicly commented on her views of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, but she has been endorsed by several anti-abortion groups.

The other two women rumored to be on the president's list are Allison Eid, 55, a federal appellate judge in Denver who once clerked for justice Clarence Thomas, and Allison Jones Rushing, 38,  a judge on the Virginia-based 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. She also clerked for justice Thomas, and for current justice Neil Gorsuch when he was a federal appeals judge.

What's at stake for the future of the court and the country

Ginsburg's death gives Trump and Senate Republicans the opportunity to establish a 6-3 conservative majority on the high court. The president now has the rare chance to appoint his third addition to the Supreme Court, following Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

With an overwhelming conservative majority, many of them young by judicial standards, the influence of the court would last decades. Issues at stake include legal rights to abortion, the future of the Affordable Care Act and health insurance protections, and legal rights related to immigration.

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