On November 8th, millions of Americans will go to the polls and face an important decision. Who will be the 45th President of the United States? It won’t be Gary Johnson. It won’t be Jill Stein. Nor will it be Evan McMullin. Like it or not, there are only two realistic options: Republican nominee Donald J. Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton. On January 20, 2017, one of those two candidates will raise their right hand and take the presidential oath of office.
There are numerous issues at stake in this election. Taxes, healthcare, trade, immigration, the war against ISIS, etc. However, the issue that should be at the forefront of voters’ minds is the U.S. Supreme Court. Granted, it’s not a particularly sexy issue, but it has vast implications for our everyday lives. Earlier this year, when Justice Antonin Scalia passed away, the Supreme Court lost its most passionate defender of strict constructionism—the idea that the text of the Constitution should be interpreted as the Founders intended. Taking into account deaths and retirements, the next president will likely get to appoint two or three justices. The philosophical balance of power on the Court will shift dramatically for a generation or more. On November 8th, Americans should ask themselves the most important question: between Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton, who do I trust to nominate quality individuals to the Supreme Court?
This past September, Mr. Trump released a list of 21 individuals who he would consider when making appointments. One name that immediately jumps out from that list is Senator Mike Lee of Utah, a constitutional conservative and a warrior for our founding principles. If Senator Lee were to be appointed, there would be one more consistent advocate of strict constructionism on the Supreme Court. All of the people on Mr. Trump’s list hold the view that the Constitution is not a living document. They believe that it is a dead document and that it means what it says, nothing more or less. There will not be any judicial activists appointed to the Supreme Court under a President Donald Trump. Our God-given rights will be protected, and when the federal government oversteps its boundaries, it will be reined in.
In stark contrast, Secretary Clinton would appoint more leftist judicial activists to the Supreme Court. It was not surprising that in responding to a question about the Supreme Court during the second presidential debate, Secretary Clinton never once mentioned the Constitution. Instead, she said she would appoint justices “who understand the way the world really works” and “who have real life experience.” Taken at face value, that sounds great. However, when translated into reality, Secretary Clinton said, “I will appoint justices who will substitute their own policy preferences for the actual text of the Constitution.” In short, she promises more of the same when it comes to the Supreme Court and the interpretation of the Constitution. President Bill Clinton appointed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court in 1993. Imagine nine Justice Ginsburgs on the Supreme Court, and then increase their judicial activism by a factor of ten. With Secretary Clinton in the White House, that is what we will get.
Take a handful of the most controversial Supreme Court cases over the past half-century: Roe v. Wade, District of Columbia v. Heller, and Obergefell v. Hodges. Secretary Clinton believes that Roe v. Wade should be upheld and even strengthened. She does not believe that human life is a gift from God, or that human life should be protected from conception to natural death. But miraculously, she has found a right to abortion written in the Constitution. Maybe it’s written on the back in invisible ink, just like the secret code on the back of the Declaration of Independence in “National Treasure.” Does anyone have Nicolas Cage’s phone number?
With respect to the Heller decision, Secretary Clinton agreed with the minority of justices who argued that no American has a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. She believes that no American has the right to use a gun, even in his or her own home, for self-defense. If Secretary Clinton is elected president, that minority of justices will become a majority, and the Second Amendment will practically be written out of the Constitution.
With respect to Obergefell v. Hodges, Secretary Clinton agreed with the majority of justices who found a right to marriage written in the Constitution. Again, where is Nicolas Cage when you need him? In that case from June 2015, the Supreme Court issued an edict that wiped out the marriage laws of all 50 states and legalized same-sex marriage everywhere. The Court essentially usurped the power of elected state legislatures to determine their own marriage laws, reversing over two centuries of tradition and legal precedent. Whether you agree with the ruling or not, on that June day we found out who the real rulers of America are—not members of Congress or the president, but nine unelected lawyers who serve for life on the Supreme Court.
With the Supreme Court up for grabs, our God-given rights hang in the balance. With Secretary Clinton in the White House, leftist judicial activists will have the ability to rewrite the entire Constitution and Bill of Rights. Free speech, religious liberty, and the right to keep and bear arms could literally become nonexistent in this country a year from now.
With Mr. Trump in the White House, we will have a Supreme Court filled with strict constructionists who will protect our God-given rights and the constitutional principles of limited government and state sovereignty. We will no longer have a Court dominated by justices who believe that the Constitution says whatever they want it to say.
This election may be our last chance to save America as we know it—a country where the government, not the people, is restricted. On November 8th, think about the Supreme Court and its implications for our everyday lives when you head to the voting booth. Do you want a Supreme Court made up of nine Justice Ginsburgs, or do you want a Supreme Court made up of nine Justice Scalias? This is one of those defining moments in history that people will read about a hundred years from now (if the First Amendment is still fully intact, that is). The future of our country is in our hands. Let’s make the most of this great opportunity to save our country.