President Trump, who said the process of choosing Kennedy's replacement would "begin immediately", now has the opportunity to further cement the court's conservative majority and shape its direction for decades to come. "It is gone because Donald Trump won the election and because he's going to have the chance to appoint two Supreme Court justices".
"Millions of people are just months away from determining the senators who should vote to confirm or reject the president's nominee, and their voices deserve to be heard", said Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the US Senate.
"The president's travel ban doesn't make us safer, and the Supreme Court's ruling doesn't make it right", he said.
Still, five of the court's justices expressed dismay at Trump's statements, including his campaign call for a "complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States". He had released a version of the list during the 2016 campaign and seemingly used it to assuage Republican voters uneasy about his conservative bona fides. He is a Georgetown University Law Center alumnus and is also reportedly the favorite of Trump's sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, with whom he serves on the US Court of Appeals.
It's widely expected the next appointee could shift the current balance of Supreme Court to a more conservative-learning bench. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate passes mammoth farm bill Trump has asked advisers about nominating Mike Lee to Supreme Court: report The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance - Dramatic battle looms after Kennedy's retirement MORE's (R-Utah) public acknowledgment he would not turn down the post.
The US president has said the restrictions are needed to tighten security and prevent terrorist attacks. Gorsuch cleared the Senate - only after McConnell pushed through a rules change to end the filibuster on Supreme Court nominees and lower the threshold for confirmation from 60 to a simple majority - with 54 votes. The White House said Trump's team also spoke with more than a dozen additional senators.
Trump's July 9 time frame could prove optimistic. Kennedy, appointed by President Ronald Reagan, has been a swing vote on issues like abortion and affirmative action to gay rights and capital punishment. If an originalist majority settles in for a long run on the Supreme Court, everyone can send thank-you notes to Reid.
And none of them now wants to vote on another Trump nominee to the Supreme Court.
Heitkamp broadly supports abortion rights, but North Dakota is one of the most restrictive states in the nation when it comes to abortion access.
In a dissent she read in the courtroom, liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor cited "stark parallels" with the court's 1944 decision that upheld USA internment of Japanese-Americans during World War Two.