Everything Is at Stake with Supreme Court Appointments

FedUp PAC StaffEverything Is at Stake with Supreme Court Appointments

For many Americans, the most important matter at stake in the 2016 presidential campaign was determining who would be making Supreme Court appointments for the next four years. This became even more vital when the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia guaranteed that the next president would immediately be able to fill one seat on the court. The left-wing appointments made by Barack Obama and the promises by Hillary Clinton to appoint similar justices left no doubt that a Clinton victory would produce a long-term shift to the left on the Court. Donald Trump’s pledge to select justices “very much in the mold of Justice Scalia” presented voters with the sharpest contrast possible.

Trump’s first appointment, replacing Scalia, will restore the Courts 4-4 split between conservatives and liberals, with Justice Kennedy (and sometimes Chief Justice Roberts) as the swing vote. If he is able to replace any of the three oldest members of the Court, Justice Ginsburg (soon to be 84 years old), Justice Kennedy (80), or Justice Breyer (78), that could produce a conservative majority that would protect the Constitution for years to come.

The list of ways in which this could affect our lives is almost endless.

Some of our most precious freedoms will stand or fall depending on the decisions of the Supreme Court. Clinton had promised that her appointments would greatly narrow our freedom of speech and religion under the First Amendment. She had also promised to make the Second Amendment meaningless.

Four Justices still have those goals, and will be hoping to swing Justice Kennedy or a newly-appointed Justice to their side. They would strip away the protections enjoyed by Christians, trying to exclude Christians from the public square while allowing the law to require Christian participation in such immoral activities as homosexual “weddings.”

They would allow Congress (as well as state and local governments) to impose restrictions on political speech, while leaving their allies in the mainstream media free to spend unlimited amounts promoting liberal candidates.

They would allow government at all levels to establish severe limits –often amounting to a prohibition -- on the ability to buy, own, carry, and use a firearm.

On the other hand, a Supreme Court that respects the Constitution could go so far as to overturn the decisions creating a “constitutional right” to abortion or same-sex marriage. At the very least, it could uphold reasonable limits on abortion and protect Christians from homosexual bullies who demand participation in their wedding ceremonies.

The integrity of our elections is also at stake. Evidence that voter rolls are packed with names of those who are dead, no longer live in that area, and even fraudulently registered non-citizens has demonstrated the necessity of strong anti-fraud measures. Requiring voters to show a photographic ID has been one common response. The reaction on the left has been to attack all such laws as racist while demanding that the Federal courts strike them down as a violation of the Constitution or the Voting Rights Act. The Supreme Court’s record has been mixed, but it has allowed some laws to go into effect, and the addition of a fifth conservative during the next four years would go a long way towards assuring that our elections are controlled by genuine voters.

The Court may also have the chance to rule on some of Obama’s extreme claims of executive power, including an unprecedented lawsuit by the House of Representatives regarding ObamaCare spending and the suit by Texas and other states challenging amnesty for illegal aliens. These will be landmark cases on the separation of powers, and decisions that are faithful to the Constitution will be essential to protecting us from government by presidential decree.

Many other controversies, from affirmative action to capital punishment to whether the Federal government will decide which bathroom you use will come, sooner or later, before the Supreme Court.

We must pray that President Trump will make a wise choice, avoiding another Kennedy or Souter.

We must also recognize that Senate Democrats will seek out allies on the Republican side. Republican senators must not be allowed to abandon ship when the Democratic smear campaign reaches its peak. They must be reminded that they are accountable to the voters who chose them in the expectation that they would take seriously the protection of the Constitution.

It must be Democratic Senators representing Republican states who are made to feel the heat. They will have to be convinced that voting against Supreme Court nominees will mean defeat at the polls.

We have much to gain, but also much to lose as we struggle to restore a Supreme Court that follows the Constitution.