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  • USA Today

No vacancy (yet): Liberals, conservatives prepare to battle for control of Supreme Court

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, here arriving for the funeral of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, will set off a brutal campaign over his successor if he retires this spring. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images)

"...Expect to hear a lot about abortion rights, which Kennedy helped to protect in a 2016 case from Texas, and gay rights, three years after Kennedy wrote the 5-4 opinion legalizing same-sex marriage. Pro-choice Republican senators such as Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska would be prime targets.

'The easiest way to lose one of them is abortion,' says Curt Levey, president of the conservative Committee for Justice.

Liberals also hope to use public support for gun control, as well as the court's potential role in cases involving Trump as president, candidate or businessman, as reasons to oppose his nominee.

Their effort would be concentrated in places such as Maine, Alaska, Arizona and Tennessee, focusing on moderate as well as retiring senators. Indiana, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia, where Democratic senators are running for re-election in Trump strongholds, also would be targets.

To succeed, liberals may need to catch up to conservatives financially. They are hoping to collect donations from groups such as George Soros's Open Society Foundations to match what conservatives expect from the likes of Charles and David Koch. But they also would tap supporters of gay rights, women's rights, environmental protection and other popular left-wing causes..."

Read the full article in USA Today.


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