As the Supreme Court’s spring term draws to a close, rumors are swirling that President Trump may soon be able to nominate a second judge to the nation’s highest bench. According to several reports, Justice Anthony Kennedy is getting ready to hang up his robes and retire after serving nearly 30 years on the court.
Justice Kennedy has built a conservative reputation on the bench, but he’s far from a reliable vote. On many occasions – the most prominent probably being the one on gay marriage in 2015 – he has swung towards the liberals, giving them major decisions in some bitterly disappointing verdicts. If he departs, it will give President Trump the ability to replace him with a purer conservative judge in the tradition of Antonin Scalia and his first pick, Neil Gorsuch. And, knowing that the Senate has already invoked the nuclear option for Supreme Court picks, he’ll have no reason to moderate his selection to appease obstructionist Democrats.
All of this should make any conservative EXTREMELY glad that Hillary Clinton did not win the election.
Assuming the Kennedy rumors are true, his retirement would mean that our worst nightmares about a Hillary Clinton presidency would already be coming true. She would have been able to replace TWO conservative judges with liberal ones, turning the court into a circus of inane constitutional interpretation for a generation. Whatever damage Hillary herself might have done to the country as president would have paled in comparison to what her Supreme Court picks would have done. It’s not a stretch to say that this would have been a complete game-changer for American life as we know it.
Thankfully, we dodged that particular bullet.
Of course, this may not be the end of the road when it comes to Trump’s influence over the highest court in the land. The age of two liberal Justices – Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer – cannot be ignored. We’d assume that they’ll try their damnedest to stay on the bench until a Democrat takes the White House, but life doesn’t always play according to your political desires. If either of them vacates their seats in the next three years, Trump will have an extraordinary opportunity to put the Supreme Court COMPLETELY out of liberal hands…for years to come.