The Senate is set to begin debating the nomination of Anthony Kennedy, who is to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
He will be up for confirmation by a vote of 51-49.
It’s the first nomination by President Barack Obama to the court since the late Justice Clarence Thomas was nominated in 2005.
And it’s one that could have a long and complicated history.
It comes as the Senate is also weighing a Supreme Court nomination by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.
That nomination, in the wake of a Senate GOP leadership effort to kill his nomination, would have been a big political blow to the president’s second term.
Kennedy, a George W. Bush appointee, has been widely seen as a moderate, but his voting record is as polarizing as it is controversial.
He voted to protect the Affordable Care Act, the health care law he helped draft and sign into law, and he supported the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits same-sex marriage nationwide.
But Kennedy’s political record, as well as his voting history, have led some Republicans to worry about whether he will be able to bring his conservative views to the high court.
The nomination has also raised questions about the future of the Court.
There have been many vacancies on the Supreme Court, but the most recent was in the 1990s, when then-Justice William Rehnquist left the court.
Rehnig was replaced by Justice David Souter.
The vacancy came to light when Rehnigan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, which left him without the mental and physical abilities to be a fair and impartial justice, and led to the Supreme Justice being appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton.
Kennedy was a senior associate justice on the court from 2003 to 2006, when President George W, Bush nominated him to the top court.
Kennedy said in an interview that he didn’t know how long he’d have to wait to be confirmed.
“I just want to make sure I do the best I can, because I know I’ve got to be ready to go when I’m ready,” he said.
“This is my job.
And I just want the best for the people of the United States.”
“The Court has always been a court of limited resources,” he added.
In his new role, Kennedy will be on the Court’s liberal wing, with a conservative majority.
But he said he plans to be on a more liberal Court when he takes the bench in 2024, after retiring.
He is the first of the Kennedy picks to be up-for-grabs.
In the Senate, the next President can choose to appoint up to two justices, but only one of them will serve for a full term.
Kennedy, 54, is a former judge on the California Supreme Court who served on the federal appeals court.
He also worked as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, a Republican.
He clerked for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
A law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Kennedy joined the court in 1989 and rose to the rank of chief justice, the highest judicial post.
He has been a vocal critic of the Affordable Healthcare Act, a law he believes was passed with Democratic support but which critics say was not a good idea and has been plagued by problems, such as the rise of Obamacare.
The Affordable Care Amendment is one of the biggest fights in the court’s history.
On Thursday, the court will hear oral arguments in a case about whether states can refuse to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Health Care Act.
In January, the Supreme court will decide whether the government can force employers to offer paid family leave to employees, which many say would be a step toward a national policy.