One of the biggest privileges and impacts a president can have is appointing members of the US Supreme Court AND to the many federal courts throughout our nation. When Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia died suddenly in February of this year, many conservatives thought all was lost as the appointment of his replacement would fall to Barack Obama. Scalia was a champion of conservatives and had a record of ruling on law instead of on his personal agenda.
The loss of Scalia left the Supreme Court with four liberals, three conservatives and one moderate who swayed back and forth (Chief Justice John Roberts). Obama had already appointed two extremely liberal agenda driven women to the Supreme Court (Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan). The other two liberals on the high bench are Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg (appointed by Bill Clinton) and Stephen G. Breyer (appointed by Bill Clinton). The three remaining conservatives on the high bench are Associate Justices Anthony M. Kennedy (appointed by Ronald Reagan), Clarence Thomas (appointed by George H.W. Bush) and Samuel Alito (appointed by George W. Bush). Roberts, is considered to be a conservative by many, but based upon his track record, I would call him a moderate. Roberts was appointed by George W. Bush.
A presidential nominee to the Supreme Court must be confirmed by the US Senate, and after the death of Scalia, the Republican controlled Senate made it known that they would not confirm any person nominated by Obama. The task of nominating the next Supreme Court Associate Justice falls to President-elect Donald Trump. It seems like a forgone conclusion that Trump will work to put another conservative on the bench, but this is far from the only effect that Trump will have on the entire judicial system in America.
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