Readability

The Supreme Court Agenda

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Two words: Supreme Court. That’s why many peo­ple voted for Don­ald Trump.

Trump should have the oppor­tu­nity to replace at least three jus­tices on the court over the next four years, includ­ing the Scalia vacancy, pos­si­bly the irri­tat­ing Darth Vader Gins­burg and the wob­bly Anthony Kennedy. It’s con­ceiv­able that lib­eral Stephen Breyer might call it quits, too.

Since the Democ­rats will undoubt­edly fight many of the administration’s poli­cies in the courts, these choices will prove not only impor­tant dur­ing the Trump years but far beyond them.

As a result, it is impor­tant for Trump to choose out­side of the usual ranks of the judi­ciary. Eight of the jus­tices come from the bench; only Elena Kagan does not.

Some of the recent choices from the judi­ciary by Repub­li­cans have not proven reli­able. For exam­ple, Chief Jus­tice John Roberts wrote a neck-​snapping deci­sion in sup­port of Oba­macare. Kennedy joins the lib­er­als when it comes to social issues involv­ing abor­tion and same-​sex mar­riages. Per­haps the worst exam­ple of a Repub­li­can appoint­ment was David Souter, who was selected by George H. W. Bush as a bedrock con­ser­v­a­tive and joined the lib­eral side of the bench after a few years.

A con­ser­v­a­tive bench also could look back on some of the wrong-​headed deci­sions from recent years, includ­ing Oba­macare. Even more impor­tant would be the pos­si­bil­ity of a case to over­turn Roe v. Wade.

It’s worth not­ing that more than 100 fed­eral judge­ships are also wait­ing to be filled.

One sug­ges­tion: appoint Ted Cruz to the Supreme Court. Although Trump and Cruz may not have got­ten along dur­ing the 2016 cam­paign, the Texas Repub­li­can has a sig­nif­i­cant track record as a conservative.

He has argued more cases before the court than any other mem­ber of Con­gress, includ­ing posi­tions to uphold the right to bear arms and reli­gious freedom.

I sup­ported Cruz for pres­i­dent and am pleased to sup­port his nom­i­na­tion to the court. His selec­tion would assuage the doubts of many con­ser­v­a­tives who voted for Trump.

Update: I called the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion cor­rectly in Penn­syl­va­nia in my last post, but I got the Sen­ate race wrong. My apolo­gies to Pat Toomey!


Christo­pher Harper is a recov­er­ing jour­nal­ist who worked for The Asso­ci­ated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Wash­ing­ton Times and teaches media law.

screen-shot-2016-11-13-at-8-25-59-am

Two words: Supreme Court. That’s why many people voted for Donald Trump.

Trump should have the opportunity to replace at least three justices on the court over the next four years, including the Scalia vacancy, possibly the irritating Darth Vader Ginsburg and the wobbly Anthony Kennedy. It’s conceivable that liberal Stephen Breyer might call it quits, too.

Since the Democrats will undoubtedly fight many of the administration’s policies in the courts, these choices will prove not only important during the Trump years but far beyond them.

As a result, it is important for Trump to choose outside of the usual ranks of the judiciary. Eight of the justices come from the bench; only Elena Kagan does not.

Some of the recent choices from the judiciary by Republicans have not proven reliable. For example, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote a neck-snapping decision in support of Obamacare. Kennedy joins the liberals when it comes to social issues involving abortion and same-sex marriages. Perhaps the worst example of a Republican appointment was David Souter, who was selected by George H. W. Bush as a bedrock conservative and joined the liberal side of the bench after a few years.

A conservative bench also could look back on some of the wrong-headed decisions from recent years, including Obamacare. Even more important would be the possibility of a case to overturn Roe v. Wade.

It’s worth noting that more than 100 federal judgeships are also waiting to be filled.

One suggestion: appoint Ted Cruz to the Supreme Court. Although Trump and Cruz may not have gotten along during the 2016 campaign, the Texas Republican has a significant track record as a conservative.

He has argued more cases before the court than any other member of Congress, including positions to uphold the right to bear arms and religious freedom.

I supported Cruz for president and am pleased to support his nomination to the court. His selection would assuage the doubts of many conservatives who voted for Trump.

Update: I called the presidential election correctly in Pennsylvania in my last post, but I got the Senate race wrong. My apologies to Pat Toomey!


Christopher Harper is a recovering journalist who worked for The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times and teaches media law.