As town hall participant from the second debate, Beth Miller, who was tasked with asking one of the coveted few questions to the presidential candidates permitted that evening, noted, "perhaps the most important aspect of this election is the Supreme Court justice." With President Obama's current Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, stalled, the next president's nominees have emerged as a hot topic. Now, with Election Day almost here and with the Democratic nominee holding a comfortable lead, some are already wondering who will Hillary Clinton nominate for the Supreme Court?
It's an especially important issue right now considering SCOTUS is currently one man down after Justice Antonin Scalia passed away earlier this year. Some important cases facing our nation have been caught in an inevitable dead heat since it's stuck with only eight justices who, on many issues, are ideologically split directly down the middle. Most notably this year, President Obama's immigration case, United States V. Texas got caught in the middle of the divide. It's a case that made it's way to the top of the Supreme Court pile, as President Obama was advocating for the protection of over 5 million immigrants. But the case that ended in a tie, fell back into the hands of the lower Texas court and, ultimately, returned to the original plan to deport the millions of immigrant families.
President Obama has nominated Garland as a potential next justice, but Republicans have been refusing to accept the nomination. It's what makes this next president even more important because his or her choice for the new Supreme Court justice will inevitably sway the court one way or the other. Not to mention, the next president may get to choose up to four justices, by some estimations.
Clinton's staying mum on naming specific justices, as opposed to Donald Trump who submitted a list of projected nominees. Clinton has declined to name nominees, saying "I think we should stick with one president at a time ... I’m going to let this president serve out his term with distinction and make the decisions that he thinks are right for the country." However, to some, these remarks suggested she's making it clear she might not be on board with Obama's choice of Garland — while avoiding the perception of going against the will of the current president who's been stumping hard for her this election season.
Clinton has spoken about the qualities of Supreme Court justices, though: "I want to appoint Supreme Court justices who understand the way the world really works, who have real-life experience, who have not just been in a big law firm and maybe clerked for a judge and then gotten on the bench, but maybe they tried more cases."