Trump has the potential to fundamentally transform the Supreme Court of the United States for decades to come and the left is absolutely terrified. As of right now, only Justice Scalia's seat is open and Trump's replacement there will simply restore the previous 5-4 conservative vs. liberal balance. That said, 3 other justices are near/in their 80's and could be replaced during a Trump presidency. If all three judges are replaced, it would massively shift the balance of power to 7-2 conservative vs. liberal. Something tells us that the DNC is going to provide Ginsburg and Breyer with very regular health checkups over the next 4 years.
For his part, Trump has vowed to appoint conservative judges that are "pro-life" and "pro-gun." On his website, Trump released the following comment about his choices for Supreme Court and provided a list of 21 potential selections (see full list at the end of this post).
“We have a very clear choice in this election. The freedoms we cherish and the constitutional values and principles our country was founded on are in jeopardy. The responsibility is greater than ever to protect and uphold these freedoms and I will appoint justices, who like Justice Scalia, will protect our liberty with the highest regard for the Constitution. This list is definitive and I will choose only from it in picking future Justices of the United States Supreme Court. I would like to thank the Federalist Society, The Heritage Foundation and the many other individuals who helped in composing this list of twenty-one highly respected people who are the kind of scholars that we need to preserve the very core of our country, and make it greater than ever before.”
According to The Hill, the left is absolutely terrified of the potential for a massive swing in the balance of power on the Supreme Court to the right.
Trump’s ability to tip the court and his comments on “60 Minutes” have groups on the left panicked after they failed to win confirmation for Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the court.
“Unquestionably, the idea that Donald Trump can appoint Supreme Court justices ought to instill the fear of God in every American in the country, both those who voted for him and those who didn’t, because he will appoint individuals, just as his Republican predecessors did, who are hostile to the rights and liberties we Americans have come to accept as basic democratic values,” Nan Aron, president of the Alliance for Justice, told The Hill on Monday.
Aron said she fears that Trump’s Supreme Court appointments could reverse “years of progress” on civil rights, reproductive rights and marriage equality.
“One justice will be able to do that, which is the reason they failed to give Merrick Garland his due. It was to keep the seat open, knowing how critically important that seat is for a Republican president to fill,” Aron said, citing the GOP’s refusal to consider Garland’s nomination.
Meanwhile, conservatives have said they're overall pleased with Trump's 21 choices which he crafted with the help of The Haritage Foundation.
Conservatives are overall pleased with Trump’s list, which he crafted with the help of The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
“When you have an embarrassment of riches, everyone is going to have a different favorite,” said Michael Lotito, who co-chair’s Littler Mendelson’s Workplace Policy Institute.
“I’m confident he’s going to pick someone who has a great respect for the separation of powers and is very sensitive to the proper role of the judiciary, and I think that is a major change from Obama to Trump.”
And while the GOP doesn't hold the 60 seats necessary in the Senate to block a Democrat-led filibuster, Senate Republicans are already pushing for a rule change that would allow confirmation with a simple majority.
Senate Republicans are set to have a 52-48 majority next year, six votes short of the 60 now needed to break a filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee.
If Trump’s pick doesn’t get 60 votes, it’s possible that Senate Republicans will change the rules of the Senate so that Supreme Court nominees can be approved with a simple majority vote. Groups on the right are already pushing for that option.
It looks like some of the procedural shenanigans that democrats played to pass Obamacare may be coming back to haunt them. Isn't the squirming just so glorious to watch?
Below is the full list of 21 potential candidates that Trump has identified for the Supreme Court:
* * *
Keith Blackwell is a justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia. He was appointed to the position in 2012. He had previously served on the Court of Appeals of Georgia. Before serving on the bench, Justice Blackwell was a Deputy Special Attorney General of the State of Georgia, an Assistant District Attorney in Cobb County, and a commercial litigator in private practice. Justice Blackwell is a graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law.
Charles Canady is a justice of the Supreme Court of Florida. He has served in that role since 2008, and he served as the court's chief justice from 2010 to 2012. Prior to his appointment, Justice Canady served as a judge of the Florida Second District Court of Appeal and as a member of the United States House of Representatives for four terms. Justice Canady is a graduate of Yale Law School.
Neil Gorsuch is a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He was appointed to the position in 2006. Judge Gorsuch previously served in the Justice Department as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General. Judge Gorsuch was a Marshall Scholar and received his law degree from Harvard. He clerked for Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy.
Mike Lee is the Junior U.S. Senator from Utah and currently serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He has previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Utah and as a Supreme Court Clerk for Justice Alito.
Edward Mansfield is a justice of the Iowa Supreme Court. He was appointed to the court in 2011 and retained by voters in 2012. Justice Mansfield previously served as a judge of the Iowa Court of Appeals. He also teaches law at Drake University as an adjunct professor. Justice Mansfield is a graduate of Yale Law School.
Federico Moreno is a judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida and a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States. He previously served as a state and county court judge in Florida. Judge Moreno is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law.
Margaret A. Ryan has been a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces since 2006. Judge Ryan served in the Marine Corps through deployments in the Philippines and the Gulf War. She then attended Notre Dame Law School through a military scholarship and served as a JAG officer for four years. Judge Ryan clerked for Judge J. Michael Luttig of the Fourth Circuit and Justice Clarence Thomas.
Amul Thapar is a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, serving since his appointment in 2007, when he became the first South Asian Article III judge. He has taught law students at the University of Cincinnati and Georgetown. Judge Thapar has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Washington, D.C. and the Southern District of Ohio. Immediately prior to his judicial appointment, Judge Thapar was the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Judge Thapar received his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
Timothy Tymkovich is the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Judge Tymkovich was appointed to the bench in 2003. He previously served as Colorado Solicitor General. Judge Tymkovich is a graduate of the University of Colorado College of Law.
Robert Young is the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Michigan. He was appointed to the court in 1999, and became part of a majority of justices who embraced originalism and led what one scholar described as a "textualism revolution." Justice Young previously served as a judge on the Michigan Court of Appeals. Chief Justice Young is a graduate of Harvard Law School.
The full list of the twenty-one individuals Mr. Trump will consider is below:
1. Keith Blackwell
2. Charles Canady
3. Steven Colloton
4. Allison Eid
5. Neil Gorsuch
6. Raymond Gruender
7. Thomas Hardiman
8. Raymond Kethledge
9. Joan Larsen
10. Mike Lee
11. Thomas Lee
12. Edward Mansfield
13. Federico Moreno
14. William Pryor
15. Margaret A. Ryan
16. Amul Thapar
17. Timothy Tymkovich
18. David Stras
19. Diane Sykes
20. Don Willett
21. Robert Young
* * *
Perhaps most amusing is what Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg - a vocal opponent of Donal Trump - told a meeting of the Jewish Federations of North America in a Washington ballroom, as recounted by AP.
Ginsburg had criticized Trump in interviews last summer with The Associated Press and other news organizations, saying she did not want to consider the possibility that Trump could be elected. She apologized for her remarks soon thereafter.
The Justice said she hoped for a different outcome in last week’s election, but she made plain Monday that she accepts that Donald Trump will fill the Supreme Court’s 9-month-old vacancy.
The 83-year-old justice said the most immediate impact on the court of Trump’s election would be to fill the seat that Justice Antonin Scalia occupied until his death in February. “President Trump will fill it,” Ginsburg said.
Dripping sarcasm aside, he will certainly try.