LOS ANGELES — The Justice Department is expected to confirm a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday, setting up a potentially unprecedented confirmation battle for the next four years.
The nomination will be the culmination of a months-long effort by President Donald Trump and the Senate to reshape the court’s jurisprudence.
It is the first time the president has chosen a new justice since Trump took office, a fact that has already caused consternation among conservatives.
With Trump’s victory in November, the Republican-controlled Senate has passed several of his nominees.
Trump has yet to nominate anyone to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, though he is expected in the coming weeks to fill one.
For conservatives, this nomination could signal the end of the Senate’s role in Supreme Court politics.
Democrats hold a majority on the Senate.
Trump is expected, if confirmed, to sign the nominee, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he would not wait for the nomination.
Schumer, a Democrat, told The Wall St. Journal that Trump’s actions have led to a “huge rift” between conservatives and liberals.
In recent years, the Supreme Supreme Court has been split evenly between conservatives who support overturning Roe v.
Wade, which legalized abortion, and liberals who oppose abortion rights.
Conservative judges have been especially active on the court in recent years.
The conservative court’s liberal justices have pushed for a new era of abortion rights and abortion restrictions.
They have overturned landmark decisions on gay marriage and expanded voting rights for African Americans.
Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah have said they will oppose the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch, the nation’s highest court’s most conservative justice.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said in a statement on Thursday that she would oppose the confirmation of Gorsuch.
Murkowski’s announcement came on the same day Trump announced that he would nominate conservative Judge Neil M. Gorsuch for the Supreme Judicial Court.
Trump also said he plans to nominate the most liberal judge on the nation, Judge Samuel Alito of New York, for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C.
The confirmation process is expected by the end on Friday, when Trump’s Senate calendar begins to fill out.