The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will soon learn who President Donald Trump will nominate to its bench.
Online political bettors feel it will be Brett Kavanaugh, a 53-year-old federal appeals court judge in DC who was appointed to the position in 2003 by former President George W. Bush.
Trump has the power to largely reshape the Supreme Court with his second justice selection. Justice Anthony Kennedy announced late last month that he is retiring from SCOTUS, with his final day officially planned for July 31, 2018.
PredictIt, an online exchange that allows bettors to buy and sell shares of political outcomes, has Kavanaugh the favorite to replace Kennedy at 50 cents.
PredictIt bettors can purchase up to $850 worth of shares per market. If Kavanaugh is indeed Trump’s pick, and a bettor invested in the full available amount, each of the 1,700 shares would be paid $1 for a net profit of $850.
However, the player’s final take would be lower ($765) after PredictIt takes its 10 percent fee on profits.
Trump will make his Supreme Court nominee announcement tonight at 9 pm ET. In a tweet, the president said, “I have long heard that the most important decision a US President can make is the selection of a Supreme Court Justice.”
He’ll do just that for a second time Monday night. Justice Neil Gorsuch was Trump’s first SCOTUS selection.
Frontrunner Has Sports Betting Ties
Thomas Hardiman, a US circuit court judge in Philadelphia, who was also appointed by George W. Bush, has the next-best chances according to PredictIt at 34 cents.
Hardiman is no stranger to the gambling community, as he was one of the 12 judges who sat on the Third Circuit Court’s full “en banc” hearing regarding New Jersey’s wishes to legalize sports betting. In an August 2016 decision, Hardiman was one of the nine judges in the majority who felt PASPA, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, didn’t violate the US Constitution.
SCOTUS would rule otherwise. In May 2018, the court majority in a 6-3 decision said PASPA violated anti-commandeering interpretations of the Tenth Amendment.
Aborting Abortion Law
PredictIt bettors feel strongly Trump is down to Kavanaugh and Hardiman as his final two candidates. But there have been some reports that Amy Coney Barrett, a federal judge in Chicago, remains on the shortlist.
Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark SCOTUS decision that established a woman’s legal right to have an abortion, could be overturned now that the Supreme Court once again leans conservative. Barrett, a former Notre Dame law professor, has said in the past it’s “very unlikely” the decision would be revisited, but she herself remains opposed to abortion.
PredictIt shares on Barrett are selling for 20 cents.
Kavanaugh has said the issue of abortion has already been decided by the Supreme Court, and would seek to uphold the court’s decision. Hardiman hasn’t issued a ruling regarding abortion, and therefore his specific views aren’t known.
Whomever Trump picks will certainly face a bounty of questions regarding Roe v. Wade during their Senate confirmation hearing.