As regrettable as it is that Antonin Scalia’s monumental Supreme Court legacy has been overshadowed by the immediate political concerns brought by his death, conservatives must take seriously what it would mean to this country if his seat was filled by a liberal Justice. Over the past few years, several landmark decisions have come down to a 5-4 split. And while some of those decisions rankled conservatives, there’s no question that a court dominated by liberals could do swift and irreparable damage to the United States.
Assuming that the Republican-controlled Senate can delay confirming any nominee put forth by President Obama – which is probably not a safe bet, knowing Republicans – the future of the Supreme Court will lie in the hands of the next president. The 2016 election was already a crucial one for conservatives; this new twist turns it into one of the most important elections in history. And it can’t be overlooked that one of the Republican frontrunners just happens to be an experienced, purely conservative, legal expert himself.
At a campaign rally in Aiken, South Carolina on Monday, former Texas solicitor general Ted Cruz said that “two branches of government are at stake” in the 2016 presidential election. He drew a distinction between himself and Donald Trump, telling the crowd that the real estate mogul would nominate his “radical pro-abortion extremist” sister to the Supreme Court if given the chance.
This was in reference to a comment Trump made last year about Maryanne Trump Barry, who sits as a senior judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Trump has since said that he was joking about the nomination.
“If they want a conservative justice, [the voters] would pick Ted Cruz,” said Cruz’s spokesman, Rick Tyler. “If they want to spin the roulette wheel, they would pick Donald Trump. If they want to pick someone who’s pro-amnesty, they’d pick Marco Rubio.”
At the same time, even if you agree with Tyler and Cruz, this is all so much smoke if Obama successfully gets a nominee on the bench. Conservative author Ann Coulter told Breitbart Radio on Sunday that the pro-establishment Senate would be making a colossal mistake by confirming an Obama appointee.
“Look, if they let somebody go through, I mean, I think Trump is going to win anyway but it’s just going to get him another ten million votes,” Coulter said.
And it can’t be forgotten that the Republican nominee isn’t just going to waltz into the White House. There’s still a general election to think about, and there’s no “roulette wheel” when it comes to Hillary Clinton. She’ll put a liberal judge in Scalia’s seat in a heartbeat. Some have even speculated on who that judge might be.
“I mean, he’s brilliant, he can set forth an argument and he was a law professor,” she said in January. “So he’s got all the credentials, but we would have to get a Democratic Senate to get him confirmed.”
Who is it she spoke of? None other than Obama himself.
Stakes are high, folks. Stakes are damn high.