His presidency will pass, but Trump's Supreme Court picks will drag America backwards for decades to comeby Diane Roberts / July 6, 2018 / Leave a comment
Until recently, those of us alarmed by the current United States administration’s attacks on NATO allies, free trade, the free press, science, human rights, the environment, education and the independent judiciary took comfort in the thought that Donald Trump, too, shall pass. It’s possible (if not likely) that the Democrats will regain control of Congress in the November mid-term elections. Perhaps Special Counsel Robert Mueller will show that Trump, his unlovely children, or his close associates actually broke a law or ten. At least, Trump may have a hell of a time getting re-elected in 2020 if even a halfway decent Democrat runs against him.
But it may not matter. By then, the Supreme Court of the United States will have become the most reactionary in modern times, thanks to Trump. He’ll be gone. The court will continue to drag the country backwards for decades to come. Trump has already succeeded in putting an ultra-conservative on the bench: now that Justice Anthony Kennedy has retired, he has a chance to remake America’s judiciary. He has said he will announce his choice on Monday, 9th July.
Evangelical Christians voted for Trump in overwhelming numbers, not because they thought he was a “godly” man (even they aren’t that naive), but because he promised to nominate justices who’d overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision giving women the right to an abortion. As a bonus, a new Trump justice might also help reverse marriage equality, dismantle Obamacare, rein in the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate air and water quality, and abolish affirmative action.
Trump has not disappointed them so far. Neil Gorsuch, his first court pick, is a graduate of Harvard Law School, holder of an Oxford D.Phil., and a devout Roman Catholic. He believes in Natural Law, that is, good and evil are fixed and derive from divine decree, as well as “originalism”: he holds that the US Constitution must be understood according to what the authors meant at the time it was written—in the 1780s. The Right would like to see Trump choose someone even more inclined to dismiss the Constitution as a “living” text subject to interpretation for the modern world, perhaps someone with an even more theocratic view.