After Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement last week, tensions about the new appointee are running high.
Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal suggested that President Donald Trump’s newest Supreme Court pick should recuse him or herself from any future court decisions involving the Special Counsel investigation into Russia’s potential ties to the Trump campaign and its overall impact on the last U.S. general election.
Appearing on Face the Nation Sunday morning, the Connecticut senator proclaimed, “The president should not be permitted to appoint a justice who will decide whether or not he complies with a subpoena to testify before a grand jury or pardons himself,” demanding that Kennedy’s successor recuse him or herself at the confirmation hearings.
President Trump has yet to be interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller about his campaign’s possible ties to Russia’s interference in the U.S. 2016 presidential election. While Trump has informally agreed to speak with Mr. Mueller, CBS News reported in early June that the president’s attorney and former New York City mayor, Rudy Giuliani, promised to contest any effort by the Special Counsel to issue a grand jury subpoena to force the president to provide testimony.
Blumenthal is also concerned about Trump’s new SCOTUS nominee because the Supreme Court might have the final say on whether or not President Trump has the power to pardon himself.
In addition, Senator Blumenthal fears the Supreme Court will be predominantly conservative, or Republican, for the the foreseeable future, claiming that the current Supreme Court is already very polarized, urging that the new appointee “will shape the court for years to come.”
Blumenthal voiced his concerns about the nominee’s impact on previous Supreme Court decisions, claiming that the new justice might vote to overturn Roe v. Wade if the 1973 court ruling on reproductive rights is ever revisited, urging, “These are real lives, real impacts.”
A member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and former Connecticut attorney general, Senator Blumenthal is now advocating for “a call to action to make the American people aware that we’re in a five-alarm fire as far as this nominee overturning Roe v. Wade and dismantling affordable care and (insurance coverage for) pre-existing conditions.”
The president is scheduled to announce his Supreme Court nominee on July 9, choosing the new appointee from the list of 25 potential candidates left over from Justice Neil Gorsuch’s nomination in 2017.