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JLeslie's avatar

Is it true Trump is picking very conservative Justices for the Supreme Court?

Asked by JLeslie (65569points) May 19th, 2016 from iPhone

I saw the news for three minutes this morning. They mentioned Trump is already putting out there his picks for the Supreme Court, and they are very conservative. I assume this means against abortion and gay rights, or is conservative being used differently?

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35 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

He’d pick Satan if he thought it would get him some pub. But if he actually becomes president, I can’t even begin to imagine what his choices might be. Certainly not a woman though. I’ll just watch from my little island in Ireland.

ibstubro's avatar

Trump put out a list of potential Supreme Court nominees that panders to the conservative wing of the Republican party. All it really means is that Trump now cares about conservative votes enough to throw them a bone.

Trump is not President.
Trump is not picking Supreme Court justices.
Trump is well aware that his list is written on toilet paper and he can wipe his ass with it at any time. From what I understand, some of the most obvious conservative picks weren’t even on the Trump list. He’s pulled his punch by making a list of potential nominees that no one is passionate about – that will fade away of it’s own volition in short order.

Cruiser's avatar

Trump releasing his SCJ choices was merely to send notice to the Republican party that this list of very conservative picks was an attempt to reinforce to them his commitment to his conservative agenda.

zenvelo's avatar

He is trying to unify the GOP.

elbanditoroso's avatar

He has to be president first.

And this is red meat for the conservatives – none of these people will actually be nominated.

JLeslie's avatar

I know he has to be President first.

jca's avatar

OK so we’re pretty much down to one Republican (Trump) and two Democrats (Hill and Sanders). If Democrats don’t want Trump as President, what we (Dems) have to do is pick one Democratic candidate and everyone get behind him or her and get out and vote. If we don’t vote, and/or we say we’re not voting because our candidate didn’t get the nomination, then Trump will be the President. The End.

DoNotKnowMuch's avatar

^ What do independents (which is a larger group than Democrats or Republicans) do?

kritiper's avatar

Sure looks that way. I think he’s trying to lure in more Tea Baggers as well as regular Republicans with that ploy.

kritiper's avatar

@DoNotKnowMuch I think you’re confusing Independents with Moderates. Not the same thing.

jca's avatar

@DoNotKnowMuch: I’m talking about the election in November. Everyone has to get out and vote.

DoNotKnowMuch's avatar

@kritiper: ”@DoNotKnowMuch I think you’re confusing Independents with Moderates. Not the same thing.”

I’m doing no such thing – nor would I ever.

Also, I was just pointing out that the largest “party” in the U.S. is independents. It was in response to the previous post that laid out the path for Democrats and Republicans.

DoNotKnowMuch's avatar

@jca: ”@DoNotKnowMuch: I’m talking about the election in November. Everyone has to get out and vote.”

I understand that. But you were assuming that people are Democrat or Republican. This is not the case. And the Democrats are trying their hardest to make sure there will be even less Democrats in the future. Here in MA, even long-time Democrats are leaving the party. The party is dangerously close to becoming completely irrelevant. Let’s hope they make a last-minute pivot.

kritiper's avatar

The Independent party is the largest? Why haven’t I heard of them? I think there are more non-party affiliated, non-identifiable Moderates than any other . Heck, I’m a Moderate myself, as are most of the Democrats and Republicans I know. Independents are the largest party? BS!

DoNotKnowMuch's avatar

@kritiper – Follow the plot. Note that only you are using a capital “I” when describing independents. In 2016, 31% of registered voters are Democrats, 25% are Republicans, and 44% are independent. <- Check that word again for a capital “I”. You won’t find one.

Cruiser's avatar

The reason you have not heard of the Independent Party is because there is no Independent Party. Independents are just that….independent of the 2 party system that dominates the news. The real news is that independents represents more voters desires than either the Dems or the Repubs. And news flash…they are independents largely because they/I are sick of the childish BS pandering of both parties. It should be no secret to anyone following this election that voters right left and center are sick of the career politician lies hence the popularity of Sanders and Trump.

The rude awakening is Trump decimated the entire field of Republican challengers on his own and if Hillary is the Dem nominee you can bet your last dollar there will be a fairly large contingent of independent voters AND Dem voters who will cast their votes for Trump because he is not Hillary and the establishment career politician. The writing is on the wall…a big beautiful wall.

JLeslie's avatar

We have closed primary states. In those states the numbers of registered democrats, republicans, and independents isn’t necessarily accurate to how people identify. Independents register in one of the two big parties to vote in the primaries.

zenvelo's avatar

Independents do not behave as a bloc. There are independents from all persuasions; while winning the most independents will win the election, a candidate cannot treat them as a single group.

And one of the biggest problems is that any candidate that caters to the “base” will lose independents.

Yet, it is the party loyalists that do the grunt work to get someone elected, that do the local GOTV drives, the local signs and door knocking.

One reason Trump has done well is that he appeals to roughly the same percentage of Republican voters despite their individual primary issue. He does as well with religious anti gay Republicans as he does with big business Republicans.

kritiper's avatar

@ DoNotKnowMuch Your independents are individuals who don’t vote so they don’t count. (If you want to call them a party you’d better capitalize the “I” so you don’t piss them off.) Moderates, be they Republicans or Democrats, vote.

Cupcake's avatar

NY has an Independence Party. Are we the only one? If you want to be an unaffiliated voter in NY, you have to select No Party Affiliation, not Independent.

LostInParadise's avatar

I can’t stand Trump, but I think it was a smart move on his part. It makes him look presidential and it shows that his thinking is pretty much in line with the conservative Republican base. In particular, there are hints of racism in his choices, which will appeal to the constituency that Trump is targeting.

zenvelo's avatar

@Cupcake in California, we have the American Independent Party, which formed in the ‘50s as refugees from the Republicans who were too pink.

When you register here, you have to select “Decline to State”

Jaxk's avatar

@JLeslie – Your interpretation of a conservative judge is wrong. Typically conservatives don’t pick judges based on specific issues (Gay marriage, abortion, etc). The criteria is more philosophical. Conservative picks are based on interpretation of the constitution. A conservative will interpret the constitution based on what it meant when it was written. A liberal judge will interpret the constitution based on what it would mean if it was written today. That basic difference seems subtle but it is quite distinct. Liberals pick judges based on issues while Conservatives pick judges based on philosophy.

zenvelo's avatar

@Jaxk Interesting summary, except when conservative justices opine on what is best for Corporations rather than “We the People.”

JLeslie's avatar

@Jaxk I don’t see how being anti-abortion has to do with the constitution. I also don’t see how being anti gay marriage fits with our constitution either.

Why is ok to control what genders can enter into a civil marriage contract under the constitution?

Why us it ok to tell a woman she must support another like and not tell the same to a man?

Jaxk's avatar

@JLeslie – Interesting that you would think anti-abortion has nothing to do with the constitution but pro-abortion does. Your still looking at it based on issues rather than philosophy. If the constitution doesn’t address the abortion issue (or gay marriage) then it is a states issue. That is typically how conservatives see it.

And just for the record. government does tell a man he must support another life. It is the woman that has a choice whether she will support it or not.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jaxk No. A man does not have to give blood a kidney or part of his liver. We give vitamins, minerals, more stress in our organs, joints, and muscles to carry and birth that baby. Saying a fetus is more important than a 30 year old man who needs a blood transfusion to live who is already a very productive part of society, responsibly cares and supports his children, and is integral in his community, makes no sense. That’s what we are saying when we legally allow a man to die, but save a fetus. Forget that at least 20% of pregnancies miscarry anyway (not a small percentage) and a certain percentage (small percentage) will be born with some sort of problem that might be a burden on society. I don’t actually think in terms of the value of a life, all life is important and counts. I’m just talking about how the law works. I also would never want to be at the point that the government can order a man or woman to give blood or an organ to someone else.

I see your point about state’s rights, but if a state is infringing on an individuals civil rights, then we go back to the federal laws. The Supreme Court interprets the constitution, which decides if a law is legal under our constitution. States make all sorts of laws that do not comply with our constitution. Voting to make gay marriage illegal is an infringement regarding the equal rights of our citizens in my opinion.

Jaxk's avatar

@JLeslie – Let me try to home in on a single issue and see if I can explain my point. Gay marriage is not mentioned anywhere in the constitution no in any amendment. In fact it has never even been part of the discussion for any of the amendments. Marriage has always been the purview of the states. States license it, they define it it, and they set the criteria for dissolving it. The federal government has historically merely taken the marriage status from the states. You can argue whether Gay Marriage is a good thing or bad but in order to argue constitutionality, you have to make up law with no basis in the constitution. Because there’s nothing there. That’s how liberals can call the constitution a living breathing document because they make up law that they feel should be there. When a liberal President appoints a SC Judge, they have a litmus test that is based on issues such as abortion or gay marriage. If the judge is not in line with those issues, they have no chance of being appointed. Conservatives don’t have that litmus test. It more about how they decide issues than it is about what they decide on those issues. That’s why you get conservative judges that sometimes go off the reservation like Roberts did on Obamacare. His decision was based on settled law (the federal government has the right to tax) rather than some obscure theory that we all have a constitutional right to health care. It was a bad decision but he came to it in the right way. That’s my opinion of course.

LostInParadise's avatar

@Jaxk , The world has changed considerably since the U.S. Constitution was created. The U.S. came to being near the beginning of a time of industrialization and spread of Enlightenment ideals. Steven Pinker gives a good description of the decline in violence and the increase in human rights during this period in his book, The Better Angels of Our Nature. To say that Supreme Court justices should base their decisions on what they believe were the intentions of the founding fathers ignores all the changes that have taken place. Things are different. The founding fathers were imperfect and could not anticipate what would happen. Alexander Hamilton thought that the president and members of Congress should be elected for life. Jefferson thought that the U.S. would remain agricultural in perpetuity. The Constitution must be made into a living breathing document to have relevance. One wise thing that the founding fathers did was to provide a means of amending the Constitution.

Jaxk's avatar

@LostInParadise – Yes, there is a way to change the constitution and it has been changed 27 times over the years. It works. Congress is designed to make laws, not the president nor the Supreme Court. The constitution is a set of guiding principles that preserve our rights and limit the ability of government to deprive us of them. Our principles don’t change with the times and if they do, the amendment process is there to handle it. Changing the constitution via executive orders or Supreme Court decisions breaks down the entire system. Conservative judges know that, liberal judges do not.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jaxk I feel the constitution is a very important document. I also believe the states cannot legislate against the US constitution. I know marriage has always been done by the states, and each of our states had reciprocal agreements. So, I guess you feel the US Supreme Court should have refused to see the case regarding gay marriage?

Are you saying that sometimes when a justice votes against protecting the equality of citizens the judge is only saying I don’t think we should rule on this case it’s up to the states? I don’t think so. I think once a case is before the Supreme Court they have to decide whether the law is just in America.

jca's avatar

Gun control is another good example of how what is written in the Constitution is outdated now.

Yes, we have the right to bear arms but when the Constitution was written, there were no automatic weapons that fire with the speed and intensity of what is available now.

Jaxk's avatar

@JLeslie – The powers of the federal government are laid out in the constitution. Powers not assigned to the federal government are reserved for the states or the people. Nowhere is the definition of marriage assigned to the federal government nor has it even been discussed in any of the amendments. Ergo it is reserved for the states or the people.

@jca – If we want to outlaw guns, it takes a constitutional amendment. Most of the argument for gun control is based on things like registration, automatic weapons, and various types of weapons. There is no constitutional argument against these restrictions unless they create an prohibitive burden to owning any gun. Such as some of the registration laws that take up to a year. Automatic weapons have been illegal for as long as I can remember and the assault weapon bans are argued in the legislature (as they should be).

LogicHead's avatar

If we analyze the rhetorical elements of your question we find 3 things

1) Firm adherence to the Constitution is disliked by you and you stigmatize it as “conservative”

2) Your idea of ‘for’ or ‘against’ determines your view of constitutionality and NOT the Constitution itself. After all Roe v Wade is acknowledged in many quarters as based on ludicrous legal and medical grounds

3) This is a guess based on people I know: You want a living Constitution but not a Constitution with a discoverable meaning. As Clarence Thomas often says in his dissents: What is alleged in a Constitutional case might involve something very wrong but that is the duty of the Legislative branch to address. The question is, Is it Constitutional and not “Is it a good or bad law?”

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