By the numbers:
Justices on the Supreme Court: 8
Executive orders signed so far: 6
Obamacare replacement plans: 4
Next executive order trickles down South Dakota and trumps up old debate
On Tuesday President Trump signed an executive order bringing back the Keystone XL Pipeline, alongside the Dakota Access pipeline. The Keystone XL was the ideological predecessor to the Dakota Access Pipeline, ultimately both being rejected by former President Obama. The Keystone Pipeline was either championed as a job creator or vilified as a threat to the environment despite most evidence pointing to it having a small effect on either.
The Dakota Access Pipeline is more divisive with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe objecting to its construction due to its proximity to the reservation. The Army Corps of Engineers stated it was exploring alternate routes before Obama axed the pipeline. Now that Trump has revived it, it remains to be seen what alternate routes will be proposed.
In a third executive order related to the pipeline, Trump stated that the U.S. Commerce Department would prioritize using U.S. steel in the construction of all pipelines. U.S. steel is always a touchy subject with its severe decline since the 1970s. Last year, Obama incorrectly claimed the steel industry was producing as much steel as it had been at its peak. In fact, the steel industry is producing one-third less than at its peak, placing it at fifth in the world in terms of steel production.
The Ninth Justice
Politico reports the list for the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s replacement is down to three now, with the plan to nominate his replacement next week.
Trump’s list now includes Neil Gorsuch, Thomas Hardiman and Bill Pryor. The most controversial of the picks would probably be Bill Pryor, who has made enemies of members of the left and the right. Pryor presided over Glenn v. Brumby, ruling in favor of expanding the equal protections clause for transgender people. Pryor has also called Roe v. Wade “an abomination,” which landed him in hot water with Senate Democrats in 2004 when he was first nominated to the appellate court.
No matter who is nominated, there will still be eight other justices alongside him.