The Supreme Court is a vital component of our democracy. Here's how the process works to nominate, confirm, and oppose a potential justice.
WASHINGTON – If President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans succeed in putting federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court, it will mark the biggest change there since 1991.
It was then that Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall, a liberal giant of the civil rights movement, retired in failing health and was replaced by Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, who has become the most conservative member of the court.
Twice more since then, personnel changes moved the court to the right: in 2006, when Associate Justice Samuel Alito took over for Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and 2018, when Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh succeeded Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. O'Connor and Kennedy were moderates named by Republican presidents, so the difference was not as dramatic.
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