The U.S. Supreme Court pick is to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy who is retiring. While Kennedy was a Republican, he was often the moderate swing vote on close 5-to-4 decisions. A nominee’s view on reproductive rights could be crucial in this process, as well as the future of health care under the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare. That is raising concerns at West Virginia’s Center on Budget & Policy.
“And there’s over 750 thousand people in West Virginia who have some sort of pre-existing condition that prior to the Affordable Care Act could be used to either deny them coverage or increase their costs for health care,” said Sean O’Leary, of West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy.
But others believe questioning the court nominee about specific issues, makes it too political.
“Well that’s not how our organization vets Supreme Court vacancies. I mean the fact of the matter is it’s improper for any nominee to disclose how they would rule on a case that comes before them. We want some one who exhibits judicial restraint,” said Jason Huffman, of Americas for Prosperity, West Virginia Chapter.
There will be a lot of pressure on West Virginia Senators Joe Manchin, a Democrat up for reelection this year; and Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito, since they get to vote on court appointments.
“Reach out and let your representatives know and make sure that you know you’re talking about things like ‘I’m worried about my health care,'” said Sean O’Leary, of the WV Center on Budget & Policy.
“We hope that Senator Manchin and Senator Capito do the right thing,” said Jason Huffman, Americans for Prosperity – WV Chapter.
Justice Kennedy was appointed by President Reagan and was on the Supreme Court for 30 years. These appointments can last long after any President leaves office.
“Both sides tell us they’ll have a better idea on tactics to either support or refute the nominee, once they know exactly who that person will be,” said 13 News Chief Political Reporter.