The next president will likely appoint at least one but possibly two new justices to the Supreme Court. In his first term, President Obama selected two ideologically liberal women to the Court: Justices Sonya Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. With the Court being split down ideological lines in almost every hot button case, the next key replacement to come will likely be when 79-year-old liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg retires from the bench.
There are nine justices on the Supreme Court. Nowadays the votes are split ideologically 5-4 with Justice Anthony Kennedy, a Reagan appointee, swinging either to vote with the liberals or to vote with the conservatives. If Justice Ginsburg is replaced by a conservative jurist then the shift to the right will be solidified for another generation because there would be a solid majority of five conservatives with lifetime appointments on the Court.
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