The Supreme Court’s drastic shift to the right, cartoonsplained ( )

President Trump’s pick to replace Anthony Kennedy will lead to a much more conservative Court.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh September 20. Barring any delays — a sexual misconduct allegation from his teenage years is the latest scandal to hit Kavanaugh’s nomination — he could be confirmed to the Supreme Court in the next month.

Kavanaugh would replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy — and the Court will almost certainly drift further to the right. For decades, Kennedy represented what scholars call the “median justice,” which gave him the swing vote in several decisions that split along ideological lines.

But with this new appointee, the Court now has a new, more conservative median justice: Chief Justice John Roberts.

Using a measure developed by political scientists Andrew Martin and Kevin Quinn, we can see that Roberts has actually been moving to the center since his appointment, much like Kennedy did over his career — a reminder that the median justice may not be ideologically static over the course of their Supreme Court stint.

But Roberts is still solidly conservative. Could he continue that drift to the middle? Maybe. But given Roberts’s record, his slow shift to the center probably won’t assuage people who are worried about specific issues, like reproductive rights.

To grasp how influential Kennedy was on this Court, take a look at this chart showing the history of the median justice.

During the 30 years Kennedy served, he was the median justice for more than half his tenure.

When he was confirmed, the median justice was Byron White, who retired in 1993. Kennedy then took the mantle for the