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President Trump's list of nominees to replace outgoing Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court skews decisively conservative, per a measure that scores judges on a liberal-conservative spectrum.

Why it matters: Chances are that whomever Trump appoints will be solidly conservative, tipping the balance of the court.

Expand chart
Data: Epstein, Martin, and Quinn, 2016; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon and Harry Stevens/Axios

In November, the Trump administration released its list of 25 potential Supreme Court nominees. Of those, 12 were included in an analysis by political scientists Lee Epstein, Andrew D. Martin, and Kevin Quinn which placed them on an ideological spectrum called the “Judicial Common Space."

Conservative justices receive scores from 0 to 1, while liberal justices receive scores from –1 to 0. Clarence Thomas, currently the most conservative justice, scored at 0.725. Sonia Sotomayor, the most liberal justice, scored –0.521.

None of the potential nominees analyzed in the study are as conservative as Thomas, but all of them score solidly among the conservative wing. One outlier is Thomas Hardiman, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, who scored as an ideological moderate.

A score of 0 signifies a swing judge who is as likely to favor liberal policies as conservative ones. Kennedy, who just announced his retirement, scored a –0.066. Though nominated by Republican Ronald Reagan, Kennedy often sided with the Court's liberal wing. With his retirement, four liberal justices remain, including 79-year-old Stephen Breyer and 85-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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10 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Trump sets auction for Arctic refuge drilling rights before Biden takes office

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Interior Department on Thursday said it will auction oil drilling leases in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in early January.

Why it matters: The procedural step would make it harder for President-elect Joe Biden to thwart drilling in the region, even though any actual development is years away.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney elected chair of House Democrats' campaign arm

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) on Thursday was elected chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for the 2022 cycle, narrowly defeating Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.) 119 to 107, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Maloney will be tasked with protecting House Democrats' slim majority in 2022 after they underperformed in November's election, losing seats in down-ballot races across the country.