President Donald Trump already has one vacancy to fill on the Supreme Court, due to the Republican Senate’s refusal to confirm Barack Obama’s nominee during the final year of his presidency. But with a number of Justices over 75 years old, notably Anthony Kennedy, Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsberg, there could be a few more positions for President Trump to fill while he is in office.
With that in mind, here are five major issues that could come up in a Supreme Court shaped by the Trump administration:
This is the big enchilada, the one that social conservatives have dreamed of for years. If Trump does indeed get three appointments and manages to fill all of them with anti-abortion rights justices, he could be able to get a court that will overturn the landmark 1973 decision Roe v. Wade, which upheld the legal right to obtain an abortion. Though Trump has frequently been wishy-washy on the issue of abortion, he’d likely want to please his base by choosing very anti-abortion rights justices.
The battle over the meaning of the Second Amendment could also come before a Trump-shaped Supreme Court. In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled in Heller v. DC that Americans had a right to keep a handgun at home for self-defense. Soon, though, the Court could hear a case about if Americans have a right to carry a handgun outside of their own homes. This may have a huge impact on open carry laws throughout the land.
Last October, the Court agreed to hear a case over whether or not transgender students have the right to use the restroom of their gender expression in public schools. While this decision might be made before Trump is able to appoint a justice, if he does manage to fill Scalia’s seat, the conservatives on the court will have a much easier time defending their position.
There is currently a case under consideration about whether Arabs and Muslims imprisoned in sweeps after 9/11 can sue former Attorney General John Ashcroft. Though Trump won’t have much of an impact on this case, other immigration issues are sure to reach the court during his tenure, especially if he follows through on some of his more radical plans.
The court already made a decision that Trump is going to like for procedural reasons by declining to hear a case on voter ID rules. This will allow the White House to come out in favor of voter ID laws, changing the previous official position and possibly even push them in other states.