How a Supreme Court justice will get nominated, confirmed, opposed and filibustered

The Supreme Court is an important part of our democracy. Here’s how the method works to nominate, affirm, and oppose a possible justice.

Just the FAQs, USA TODAY

One of President Donald Trump’s key guarantees throughout the 2016 campaign was nominating conservative judges to the nation’s highest court docket. He’s delivered resoundingly on that pledge.

With the affirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to fill the emptiness created by the dying  of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Trump has turn into the primary president since Richard Nixon to identify three judges to the nation’s highest court docket throughout a primary time period.

Barrett joins Neil M. Gorsuch, who was confirmed in 2017 to fill the seat of the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, and Brett M. Kavanaugh, confirmed in 2018 to succeed Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, a conservative who usually acted as swing vote on the court docket.

Trump made many guarantees early on: Which has he stored, which is he nonetheless engaged on?

President Donald Trump announces Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his U.S. Supreme Court nominee on Sept. 18 in Washington.

President Donald Trump declares Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his U.S. Supreme Court nominee on Sept. 18 in Washington.
Olivier Douliery/AFP by way of Getty Images

Senate Republicans gave Trump a vital speaking level within the 2016 campaign once they refused to contemplate President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to fill the Scalia seat, citing the presidential election about 9 months away.

Shortly afterward, candidate Trump launched a listing of 11 potential Supreme Court nominees, which he later expanded to 21. Gorsuch was on the expanded record, which just about solely consisted of federal judges and state supreme court docket justices, all placed on the bench by Republicans.

Donald Trump is not even within the White House, but he already has an concept of who he would appoint to the Supreme Court simply days after President Obama shared his views on the matter throughout an interview with BuzzFeed.


“We have a really clear selection on this election. The freedoms we cherish and the constitutional values and ideas our nation was based on are in jeopardy. The duty is bigger than ever to shield and uphold these freedoms and I’ll appoint justices, who like Justice Scalia, will shield our liberty with the best regard for the Constitution,” Trump said in a statement at the time. “This record is definitive and I’ll select solely from it in selecting future Justices of the United States Supreme Court.”

More: Six conservative justices? 10 ways the Supreme Court could change

GOP strategists and independent analysts say Trump’s announcement that he would replace Scalia with a mainstream conservative played an important factor in the whisker-thin victories in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that propelled Trump to the White House.

With Barrett’s confirmation, the balance of the court has shifted from four liberals and four conservatives to six conservatives and three liberals.

In addition to the Supreme Court, Trump has named more than 200 judges to district and appellate courts, helping the GOP’s efforts to remake the federal bench.

U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 31, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 31, 2017, in Washington, D.C.
Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

While Trump has kept his promise to name conservative judges, Trump’s nomination of Barrett was being aided by Senate Republicans who blocked Garland’s nomination as they  promised not to take up an appointment so close to a presidential election.

“If a gap comes within the final yr of President Trump’s time period, and the first course of has began, we’ll wait till the following election,” Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., mentioned in 2018.

He supported Barrett’s affirmation, saying “the principles have modified” due to the contentious Kavanuagh hearings.