How the Supreme Court Nominee Impacts a Generation

We ask a local political scientist why this important decision can reshape the constitution


It’s a decision which affects all of us, and could affect us for a whole generation.

MSUM political science professor Dr. Barbara Headrick said this is one of the most important positions in Washington D.C.

“You only have nine people on the Supreme Court and that is the final arbiter of what does the constitution mean, what do federal laws mean,” said Dr. Headrick.

This selection is not the final step in the process.

Dr. Headrick said now that Trump has selected a Supreme Court nominee, the next step lies on the senate.

“The senate has to confirm,” she explained. “If the senate does not confirm, as what happened to poor mister Merrick Garland last year, then you never get the job.”

Before they confirm, Democrats can chose to make a filibuster in order to delay the process.

Dr. Headrick says to end a filibuster, it would take a cloture vote from 60 senators.

This means eight democrats would need to be a part of that vote.

“A number of democratic voters and supporters will be looking for a hard fight against this person,” said Dr. Headrick. “But if enough democrats decide this person is the best we can expect from this president, it’ll get through.”

Although election season is over, Dr. Headrick says you can still help by contacting your senator.

“Letting them know that you’re among their constituents, you’re among the people who vote on them the next time they’re up for election, that’s where you can have your voice heard,” she added.

Dr. Headrick says calling over the phone or writing a physical letter is the best way to get in touch with your local senators.

She does not recommend writing to them by email.

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