Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election Tuesday means that a conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court is not too far behind.
In his action plan for the first 100 days of his presidency, Trump promised to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. With a Republican majority in the Senate, he will be able to select the most conservative candidate possible, and he will be assured that his nominee will be confirmed.
Although Trump still has a little over two months before he takes office, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans have made it clear that President Barack Obama’s nominee, Chief Circuit Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Merrick Garland, will not be put through the confirmation process. Obama nominated Garland in March; the obstruction tactics blocking his confirmation have lasted nearly eight months.
What this means is that in addition to whoever replaces Scalia, Trump could add a total of four seats to the highest court in the nation, giving it a conservative majority, if Justices Anthony Kennedy, 80, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 83, or Stephen Breyer, 78, were to leave the court.
We should all be worried about what lies ahead with the Supreme Court as well as a Republican-controlled Congress that can be expected to do much of Trump’s bidding. Being able to push through conservative nominees who will approve his agenda measures and rule on law and precedent in a way that satisfies his conservative ideas means that the very law of our land could be negatively affected.
A failing of the system of checks and balances means that Trump, in the highest seat in the nation, could make unbalanced decisions that go virtually unchecked.