The New POTUS on SCOTUS: Filling Scalia’s Vacancy on the Supreme Court
Donald Trump wasn’t the only winner last Tuesday — so was every American that cares about the Constitution! By the final days of the race, it was clear to everyone — including pollsters — that the election of the GOP nominee wasn’t just about who would be working out of the White House but who would be filling the bench of the Supreme Court too. The voters who ranked SCOTUS as the number one priority in this election (and there were a lot of them) can breathe a collective sigh of relief next year when Donald Trump has a chance to fulfill one of his biggest promises to America: filling Antonin Scalia’s seat with a bonafide originalist.
As the first GOP nominee in history to say that he would only appoint pro-life justices to the bench, Trump won over plenty of skeptics by releasing his list of solid and impartial jurists in advance of the election. During the last debate, he was clear:
“I feel that the justices that I am going to appoint — and I’ve named 20 of them… will be pro-life. They will have a conservative bent. They will be protecting the Second Amendment. They are great scholars in all cases, and they’re people of tremendous respect. They will interpret the Constitution the way the founders wanted it interpreted. And I believe that’s very, very important. I don’t think we should have justices appointed that decide what they want to hear. It’s all about the… Constitution the way it was meant to be.”
Now that he’s the president-elect, Trump hasn’t wavered from that pledge. Over the weekend, he reiterated to “60 Minutes’s” Leslie Stahl, “I’m pro-life. The judges will be pro-life.” What happens to women if Roe v. Wade is overturned, she went on? “They’ll perhaps have to go… to another state,” Trump replied matter-of-factly. House and Senate Republicans, who were also vindicated for leaving Scalia’s seat open for the new president, know how crucial the next confirmation will be. “It was a central election issue,” said analyst Shannen Coffin. “If [Trump] were to turn on that, it’d be a huge betrayal of the expectations he set.”
In today’s New York Times, the paper breaks down Trump’s list in more detail, highlighting the fact that potential justices from the Ivy League are out. “Heartland? In.” “You had an awful lot of conservatives during the campaign who were incredibly skeptical, to put it mildly, about Donald Trump,” the Heritage’s John Malcom pointed out. “But they certainly cared a lot about the Scalia vacancy and the direction of the Court. And that list was a very, very sober list, and it was greatly reassuring.”
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