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Update: A second accuser emerges with misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Also on the Monday rundown: We take you to a state where more than 60,000 kids are chronically absent from school; and we'll let you know why the rural digital divide can be a twofold problem.

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Dems Sound Off on Supreme Court Replacement

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, on the steps of the Supreme Court, told the crowd, "The fight for equal justice for all Americans, not just the rich and powerful, has only just begun." (Warren)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, on the steps of the Supreme Court, told the crowd, "The fight for equal justice for all Americans, not just the rich and powerful, has only just begun." (Warren)
June 29, 2018

BOSTON – A fight is already brewing over the replacement for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his retirement this week.

President Donald Trump said he'll begin work on choosing Kennedy's replacement "immediately," and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate "will vote to confirm Justice Kennedy's successor this fall."

Democrats who are positioning themselves for a 2020 run – like Senator Elizabeth Warren – voiced concern on the steps of the Supreme Court building Thursday afternoon. She told the crowd there's 50 years of hard work on the line.

"Women's access to safe, legal abortions – on the line. Marriage equality, on the line. Voting rights, on the line. Worker rights, on the line. Environmental rights, on the line,” said Warren. “What's at stake? The future of America."

Warren described Democrats as "down in this fight, but not out." They want the selection and confirmation process for a new justice to wait until after the November elections.

With Kennedy's retirement, four justices selected by Republicans and four by Democrats remain on the high court.

Democratic leaders have pointed to the way Republicans held up the Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland, and eventually replaced him with Justice Neil Gorsuch.

While Kennedy was often the swing vote on the high court, Donald Trump's pick could tip the balance in favor of conservatives for years to come. Senator Warren said a Trump choice won't necessarily be selected.

"Donald Trump is not king,” said Warren. “No one makes it to the Supreme Court without going through the United States Senate. And in the United States Senate, everyone has a vote."

A key issue in the debate over Justice Kennedy's replacement is abortion rights. Planned Parenthood has said the defense of 'Roe versus Wade' – the case that protects access to safe, legal abortion – comes down to who's sitting on the Supreme Court.

All eyes will be on female Republican senators, such as Maine's Susan Collins and Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, in the debate.

Linda Barr, Public News Service - MA