President Donald Trump has named three new Supreme Court justices to fill vacancies in his administration.
The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land and a major part of the president’s political agenda.
The appointments, announced by Trump in a Monday morning tweet, include: Judges to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.
Justice Neil Gorsuch, who was nominated to fill the seat left vacant by Antonin Scalia’s death, was confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
Gorsuch was nominated by Republican President George W. Bush.
Justice Samuel Alito, nominated by Democratic President Barack Obama, was unanimously confirmed by a bipartisan Senate on March 15.
The court is expected to hear arguments on two cases that could be heard by the full court next year: a challenge to the Affordable Care Act and a challenge from a coalition of corporations to the Environmental Protection Agency’s air and water rules.
The full court is set to hear the appeal of an Arizona baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
Trump’s Cabinet nominees will likely have the opportunity to defend his presidency on the court.
But they will also face the prospect of being the first in a long line of presidents to leave office without a replacement in place for at least a decade.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor, nominated to replace Scalia, left office in February 2018.
The Senate Judiciary and Rules Committees are expected to make final nominations for the remaining seats in the court, including for the fifth, and Gorsuch will likely be on the ballot as an independent candidate.
The confirmation process, which begins in January, is expected be closely watched in the weeks ahead, as the justices’ first cases come to court.
The judges Trump is nominating to the Supreme Court are: Jeffrey White, an appeals court judge in Oklahoma; Jeffrey Sutton, a federal district judge in Michigan; and Richard Posner, a Justice on the Supreme Council of the United States.