Who Would Replace Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court Nominee?

christine blasey ford brett kavanaugh

Getty/Palo Alto University Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh

The vote for Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination is scheduled to take place on Friday, after both Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh testify before the Senate Judiciary Comittee regarding Ford’s allegation of sexual assault.

As of September 26, three women have publicly made sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh. He has denied the veracity of all claims, and maintains that he has never sexually assaulted anyone.

Though Kavanaugh began his nomination with almost impermeable support from the GOP and a high likelihood of appointment to the Supreme Court, his future is now extremely unstable, and it’s possible he won’t receive the 51 votes necessary to receive appointment.

If Kavanaugh’s nomination were to fail, here’s what you need to know about the most likely nominations to replace him.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett Is Favored as a Top Pick to Replace Kavanaugh

Several publications have suggested that Judge Amy Coney Barrett is one of the favorites to replace Kavanaugh, should his nomination fail. Vox reports that Coney Barrett’s appeal lies in the notion of a conservative woman filling Kennedy’s seat. Dara Lind of Vox writes, “Not only would it be harder to accuse a woman of sexism in her jurisprudence, but it would be much harder to argue her jurisprudence stemmed from a disrespect for women in her personal life.”

Currently Coney Barrett is a judge on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based in Chicago. Cosmopolitan reports that Trump was the one who appointed Barrett to the federal bench.

Several groups have opposed Coney Barrett’s nomination in the past, largely due to her history as a pro-life legislator. In the past, Coney Barrett has written in favor of revisiting precedent in constitutional cases, which many viewed as a direct threat to Roe v. Wade. 

Thomas Hardiman Is Considered to Be Another Close Frontrunner

In addition to Barrett, Judge Thomas Hardiman is predicted to be another frontrunner replacement for the Supreme Court vacancy. Hardiman was the runner-up for the Gorsuch nomination, and currently serves on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Hardiman has generated concern in the past with conservatives who worried that he was a “stealth liberal.”

Dara Lind of Vox writes, “The fact that Hardiman has now twice been the metaphorical bridesmaid might mean that Trump isn’t exactly enthusiastic about him — although the president’s sister, fellow Third Circuit Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, has reportedly championed Hardiman. But he’s made it so far twice, meaning he’s already passed whatever (possibly insufficient) vetting process the Trump White House has.”

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