Thursday, August 04, 2016

Trump and SCOTUS

The closest I have come to declaring I will support Donald Trump for President was when he released a list of potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees to replace the late Antonin Scalia. Given the likelihood that Hillary Clinton would look to appoint a left-leaning judge more sympathetic to, say,  undermining the Second Amendment to the Constitution, one could make a strong argument (as Hugh Hewitt attempted to do) that responsibility for putting forth SCOTUS nominees is reason alone to hop aboard the "Trump Train." This is especially in light of the fact that incumbent GOP Senators up for reelection in swing states (i.e. Rob Portman in Ohio, Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania and Marco Rubio in Florida) are in good position to win in November. Even if Republicans lost, say, 3 seats (distinct possibilities being Mark Kirk in Illinois, Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire and Ron Johnson in Wisconsin), they'd maintain a razor thin 51-49 majority. The prevailing sentiment being that a President Trump would then be assured of getting one of his preferred nominees confirmed.

All that being said, National Review's Ian Tuttle raises another potential hindrance to the Constitution: Trump himself.

Trump’s potential abuses are numerous — and, unlike most presidential hopefuls, widely advertised. He has suggested that he will prosecute journalists who write unfavorable stories about his administration. He is open to “shutting down” parts of the Internet. (Might this be a free-speech violation? Only “foolish people” would suggest that.) The prospective commander-in-chief has declared that he would force American troops to commit war crimes. And he has said that he has no qualms about using executive orders much like President Obama has done (only Trump’s will be “better”). Trump’s dismissiveness toward the Constitution is in excess of anything Barack Obama displayed in 2008 or 2012.

Moreover, the only real insight we have into Donald Trump’s judicial philosophy (such as it is) is from the week he spent savaging Gonzalo Curiel, the federal judge who is presiding over two lawsuits against Trump University. The takeaway from that deplorable episode was that, as with everything else, Donald Trump likes judges who like Donald Trump; he wanted a judge who would put his interests above the law. What reason is there to believe that he would behave differently as president?

Nonetheless, those who cite the Supreme Court as a compelling reason to vote for Trump are of the befuddling opinion that the same man who has demonstrated willful ignorance of the Constitution, who has promised to subvert the Constitution, and whose dealings with the judiciary demonstrate contempt for the Constitution, is the man who will save it.

There's no question that Trump has made some troubling statements regarding what he perceives as executive authority. It's going to be difficult to square that circle with the constitutional purists who are still on the fence regarding this presidential race.

By all means, read Tuttle's entire piece. While he stops short of saying Hillary Clinton would be a more sufficient choice for President, Tuttle does offer the perspective that a Clinton judicial nominee does not necessarily result in the apocalyptic scenarios which Hewitt et al. suggest (Fear not, though. I still ain't voting for Hillary).


1 comment:

jerrye92002 said...

I'm not a gambler, but might I suggest that we "play the odds" on this one? We know with absolute certainty that Hillary will appoint judges, conduct foreign and domestic policy as she always has, and run every liberal pipe-dream possible down our throats. The Left is very fond of telling us what Trump will do, based on no knowledge whatsoever, because it is all just speculation, and a wildly biased speculation at that. In short, they are engaging in their usual politics of personal destruction and too many Republicans are buying that bilge, just like always. No, the odds are that Trump's ego, as big as it may be, will not let him do stupid stuff in office. He may SAY stupid stuff, especially on the way to the WH, but it seems obvious he seeks and listens to good advice on policy, such as the list of judges he put forth. That makes Hillary the long shot for good policy, more than 20:1 against, as I see it. Now if we could get the polls to reflect that reality...