Still, it likely will take years to fully evaluate whether Mr. Trump truly transformed the 9th Circuit, said Curt Levey, president of the Committee of Justice, which promotes constitutionalist positions on legal and policy issues. He noted that most senior Republican-appointed judges aren’t as conservative as Mr. Trump’s picks because senators used to be able to block federal appeals court nominees.
There could be another bite at the apple later. The current ruling is related to a preliminary injunction which, while binding the government while the case is being heard, is not a final decision on the merits. Without an appeal, the case now goes back to the federal district court in Washington.
While he thinks Justice Kavanaugh could uphold some limitations on abortion, Mr. Levey is doubtful the newest justice would be a solid vote to overturn outright Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark ruling legalizing abortion nationwide.
Curt Levey, president of the Committee for Justice, said the seats are a “prize” for senators to hand out to individuals they want as judges. Senators typically push for the president to nominate one of their favorites for federal court vacancies in their home state.
“Conservatives shouldn’t be dreaming of a revolutionary court that will overturn Roe, and on the flip slide liberals really have no right to be speaking about this arch-conservative majority that has to be restrained,” Curt Levey, president of the Committee for Justice, said, referring to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion...
“It’s always nice to see when justices on different sides can like each other,” said Curt Levey, president of the Committee for Justice and a prominent court watcher. Mr. Levey said for GOP-appointed justices, they can range from moderate former Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, whom Justice Kavanaugh replaced, to Justice Clarence Thomas, the quiet conservative. Mr. Levey said Justice Gorsuch is planting himself on the Thomas side — but more vocal.