Opinion: Is a Trump Court in the making?


If Mitch McConnell’s Senate can confirm his new nominee for the Supreme Court, President Donald Trump may have completed the capture of all three branches of the U.S. government for the Republican Party.

And the lamentations on the left are surely justified.

For liberalism’s great strategic ally and asset of 60 years, the judicial dictatorship erected by Earl Warren and associates, may be about to fall.

Another constitutionalist on the court, in the tradition of Antonin Scalia, could ring down the curtain on the social revolution the court has been imposing since the salad days of Chief Justice Earl Warren.

Among the changes Warren’s court and its successors succeeded in imposing: The de-Christianization of all public institutions in America. The social war of the 1970s over forced busing for racial balance in the public schools. The creation, ex nihilo, of new constitutional rights, first to an abortion, and then to homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

But while the confirmation of a new Trump justice may bring an end to the revolution, it will return power to where it belongs in a constitutional republic, with elected legislators and elected executives.

Why did it take until Trump to restore constitutionalism to the Supreme Court, when the Warren Court had been a blazing issue since the 1950s and Republicans held the presidency for 28 years from 1968 to 2016, and had managed to elevate 12 justices?

Answer: Every GOP president save Bush II, has appointed justices who grew to believe the court had a right to remake America to conform to their image of the ideal liberal democracy. And they so acted.

Nixon came to office committed to rein in the court by naming “strict constructionists.” Yet three of the four justices he named would vote for Roe v. Wade in 1973. Harry Blackmun, whom Nixon rushed onto the bench after his Southern nominees Clement Haynsworth and G. Harrold Carswell were trashed and rejected, became the author of Roe.

Nixon’s fourth nominee, William Rehnquist, was his best, a brilliant jurist whom Reagan himself would elevate to chief justice.

Gerald Ford’s sole nominee, John Paul Stevens, confirmed 97-0 in the Senate, turned left soon after his confirmation to join Blackmun.

Reagan named Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman, and Scalia.

But when his effort to elevate Judge Robert Bork failed, he turned to Anthony Kennedy of California, whose seat Trump is filling today.

Over 30 years, Kennedy’s vote proved decisive in 5-4 decisions to uphold Roe, to discover homosexuality as a constitutional right, and to raise same-sex unions to the legal level of traditional marriage.

George H.W. Bush’s first choice was David Souter, who also turned left to join the liberal bloc. Bush got it right on his second try in 1991, naming the constitutionalist Clarence Thomas.

As for George W. Bush, he chose John Roberts as Chief Justice to succeed Rehnquist and then Sam Alito as associate justice.

Thus, of 15 justices Republican Presidents have named since World War II, five — Warren, Brennan, Blackmun, Stevens and Souter — became liberal activists.

Clearly, the advisers to George W. Bush and President Trump looked back at the successes and the failures of previous GOP presidents, and have done a far better job of vetting nominees. They reached outside for counsel.

It was Trump’s 2016 pledge to draw his nominees to the high court from a list of 20 judges and scholars supplied by the Federalist Society that reassured conservatives and helped him unite his party and get elected.

On the issue of judicial nominees and justices to the Supreme Court, Trump has kept his word.

Writes for Creators Syndicate.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

POINT OF VIEW: NATO is about more than money

I take serious objection to the Palm Beach Post letter-writer who thinks that money is the key to the U.S. relationship with NATO. Having worked with NATO for more than 12 years, I have a deeper understanding of the extremely high value NATO plays in our security. The idea that we are bearing a higher portion of the total funding belies the value of...
Editorial cartoon
Editorial cartoon

CARTOON VIEW WALT HANDELSMAN
Letters: Ex-lifeguard can attest: Reeds treated employees well

Reeds treated employees well Thank you for your recent article, “The Reeds,” (Tuesday), on the Reeds and the Jupiter Island Club. I was a seasonal lifeguard at JIC from the late ’80s to the mid-2000s. As the article states, they did treat their employees with kindness and respect. They had annual get-togethers and even weekly employee...
Opinion: Trump isn’t first president to cozy up to Putin

WASHINGTON — The definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting to get a different result, which is one of the many reasons President Trump’s news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin seemed so insane. Trump is trying to do something that both of his immediate predecessors tried to do: turn over...
Opinion: ‘Sort of a double negative’

It is an unfathomable proposition that the day would ever come when America could rightly question the loyalties of its own president, but that is precisely where we have arrived. Donald Trump’s “Surrender Summit” with President Vladimir Putin of Russia was such a disloyal, traitorous display that it boggles the mind. Russia attacked...
More Stories