Paul Collins, director of legal studies, comments on the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and what lies ahead for the nomination and confirmation procedures of his successor on the court. He says that the president and the Republicans “will have to determine if they want to hold confirmation hearings for a Trump nominee before the November elections. If they do so, they will certainly be criticized by Democrats for trying to rush a nominee through before the public has a chance to weigh in on the makeup of the Senate. If they choose to wait until the November elections, it is likely that the vacancy will be a rallying point for get-out-the-vote efforts for both the Democratic and Republican parties.” (MassLive, San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle 6/27/18)
Paul Collins sees the nomination process to fill the seating of retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy as a major political battle. “In the immediate future, this is probably going to be the most divisive issue in American politics,” he said, adding that if Trump is able to get the type of nominee he wants on the Supreme Court the country is likely to see further restrictions on abortion rights, the possible end of affirmative action on college admissions and many gun regulations being struck down. (Gazette, Recorder, 6/29/18)
Paul Collins said it's possible Trump may nominate individuals to fill the vacancies in Massachusetts whose names don’t appear on lists prepared by Warren and Markey. "If the president did this, he would not only be abandoning Senate tradition, he would also face the possibility that Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Grassley would not move forward on the nominations" he said. (Salem News, 6/28/18).
Paul M. Collins, political science and director of legal studies, comments on the selection of Judge Brett Kavanaugh as President Donald J. Trump’s choice to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. Collins is co-author of an op-ed in The Washington Post where he argues that candidates for the top court should answer questions about their views on key issues and shouldn’t refuse to comment on areas of controversy. Collins also says, “Assuming nothing comes out about him that will be so controversial that it would put off the American public, this nominee has a very good chance of getting confirmed” by the Senate. (Herald, 7/10/18; Washington Post, 7/9/18)
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