Panel: SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh could become swing vote

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Appeals court Judge Brett Kavanaugh was on President Donald Trump's short list to fill the looming vacancy on the supreme court.

He's on track to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, a conservative jurist, who became a swing vote on polarizing issues. 

"No question the court is going to move to the right," said Richard Broughton. "How far it moves to the right or how conservative it becomes, only time will tell."

Broughton is a University of Detroit constitutional law professor.

"A couple of consequences are worthy of note," he said. "First of all, where does this leave Chief Justice Roberts; does he move more to the center of the court. Another interesting consequence of the nomination is with American politics. We have midterm elections coming up in a couple of months. We have a presidential election coming in two years. 

"How will this nomination affect American politics. Will it mobilize the Democratic party and the political left in this country? Will they be able to mobilize around the Supreme Court issue the way that conservatives and Republicans have?"

Broughton watched President Trump's announcement alongside Planned Parenthood of Michigan CEO Lori Carpentier and conservative radio host Kerry Jackson, who says Trump made a safe choice in Kavanaugh.

"Those folks in this party who are ultra conservative, those who are Donald Trump's base wanted a red meat conservative," he said. "They wanted someone who was going to go in and on day one say no matter what else we decide; I definitely plan to get rid of Roe V. Wade. I don’t really see where it's going to get overturned."

"While they may not overturn Roe outright, I think they're going to gut it," Carpentier said. "I think folks in the LGBTQ community tonight should be worried, I think women ought to be worried, I think people of color ought to be worried. I think the swing of this court right will change personal liberties in a way that we should all be very concerned about."

Kavanaugh is set for a contentious Senate confirmation.

Republicans hold a 51-49 majority but Senator John McCain may not be in Washington to vote Trump's pick-he's been homebound since receiving cancer treatment.

Democrats are expected to line up against Kavanaugh, they are still seething over the GOP changing the filibuster rule and keeping President Obama's Supreme Court pick from a shot at getting confirmed.

And senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski - two pro-choice Republicans - are not necessarily locks to support Kavanaugh either.

If confirmed, Jackson predicts Kavanaugh will end up a lot like his predecessor- a swing vote.