By Tom Milligan
Since George Washington nominated the original nine Supreme Court Justices, nearly every President (with only four exceptions), has nominated at least one Supreme Court Justice.
Supreme Court nominations have become a means for the President to leave his mark on the nation long after he has left office. Perhaps it’s this desire to leave a mark that has made the Supreme Court so powerful and seemingly immune to the checks and balances afforded by the Constitution.
This unconstitutional deification of the Supreme Court has never been more evident than during Election 2016.
I can’t count the number of Trump’s supporters that attacked, scorned and ridiculed me because I refused to lower my standards to vote for Donald Trump and that accused me of not understanding how important it was to vote for Trump in order to make sure Hillary couldn’t appoint liberal judges to the Supreme Court.
“She’ll take our guns!”
“Goodbye Second Amendment!”
“Don’t you care about religious freedom?”
Anyone who dared to publicly oppose Donald got an earful every day.
But let’s get a few things straight:
- The President doesn’t APPOINT anyone to the Supreme Court. The President NOMINATES people to fill vacancies and the Senate confirms or rejects those nominations.
- Members of the Supreme Court are called Justices – not judges.
- As we’ve seen with Chief Justice Roberts – who was nominated by a Republican President and was considered a safe, conservative choice, but who later wrote the opinion upholding Obamacare and joined in a separate pro-ACA ruling in 2012 – even the most conservative choices can move very far left.
- I’m a proud gun owner and defender of the entire Constitution – including its amendments – and will defend it to my dying breath.
- While I didn’t vote for Hillary, I understand the need for a conservative (AKA Constitutionalist) Supreme Court.
President-elect Trump will take office with the immediate task of nominating a suitable replacement for Justice Scalia. While Scalia’s strict and fair interpretation of the Constitution makes him tough to replace, Trump’s list of 21 potential nominees includes several strict Constitutionalists giving true conservatives hope that he’ll pick conservative justices throughout his presidency.
Regardless of who he nominates, there is no doubt the confirmation hearings will make huge headlines, will be televised, and will be analyzed by every so-called expert that can fog a mirror.
I pray he chooses wisely.
I’m equally positive that the Republican controlled Senate will be under a microscope as they hold confirmation hearings for Trump’s nominee(s). They cannot afford to be seen as a rubber stamp for President Trump any more than they can be seen as an obstruction to his agenda. They’re in a tough spot.
I pray they have the wisdom – and the courage – to do what’s right.
With all the brouhaha surrounding the Supreme Court, it’s even more critical that the lower courts remain true to the Constitution.
Let me explain:
Federal and District Courts decide roughly 400,000 cases each year. In each case, there’s a winner and a loser, which may result in an appeal. Every year, around 7000 of those cases (or 1.75%) are presented to the Supreme court. And of those 7000 cases, only 80 cases (0.02%) are actually heard.
Did you follow that?
If you lose a case in the lower courts, even if you have the time and financial means to appeal all the way to the Supreme Court (which most of us don’t have), there’s a 98-99% chance your case won’t be heard anyway.
And if you’re lucky enough to be a part of that 2% that is heard, you stand a 50/50 chance of losing – which makes your chances of winning your appeal almost nil.
The keys to Constitutional justice resides in the lower courts – NOT with the Supreme Court.
But not much has been said of the fact that Trump, in addition to Scalia’s replacement, inherits 103 vacancies in the federal and district courts which, like Supreme Court Justices, are lifetime appointments.
These judges – chosen by Trump – will hear cases regarding state gun control laws, abortion restrictions, voter laws, anti-discrimination measures, immigration, religious freedom, and many other critical issues of our time.
And don’t forget: 99% of their decisions will be upheld.
IF all 21 potential nominees on Trump’s Supreme Court list were deemed Constitutionally conservative, and IF he nominated all 21 of them to the Supreme, Federal, or District Courts, and IF all 21 accepted their nomination, and IF all 21 were confirmed by the Senate, there would still be 83 judicial vacancies for Trump to fill and nobody has any idea who Donald will nominate.
Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees gives hope for conservatives, but his off-the-cuff statement in 2015 that his liberal, pro-abortion sister would make a “phenomenal” Supreme Court Justice makes predicting his future actions impossible – which is exactly why our Constitution requires the Senate to confirm the President’s nominees: checks and balances.
Because I refused to support Trump, I’ve been accused of being a traitor, a cuck, a Hillary lover, and of course, a liberal.
Now it’s Donald’s turn to show the world that his financial support of liberals and their causes was purely business (ethics aside).
That his “evolution” on social issues is real.
That he really is a conservative.
The true test is here.