“The potential impact of the next president on the Supreme Court is immense,” said Carrie Severino, the chief counsel and policy director at the Judicial Crisis Network, a right-of-center advocacy group. “There could easily be three nominations during the next term. … Most people expect there to be at least one vacancy.”

She said if Obama were re-elected and got three more high court nominations, “that would put him in the position of having nominated the majority of the justices on the Supreme Court. That’s an incredible influence over the way the court shapes American society.”

She said there’s now a 5-4 split on issues that have been before or are coming before the court, such as whether schools can use applicants’ and students’ race or ethnicity in admissions or in assigning students to specific public schools.