Political Thoughts by Richard Bleil
Tonight, the Republican Party confirmed the third Trump nominee to the Supreme Court, a move that highlights their hypocrisy, lies, and complete lack of concern for the American People or the Constitution. To be fair, I have good friends who like this turn of events, and while I fear the worst, I hope they’re right. I hope it does not turn out to be nearly as toxic as I fear it will be, but I also hoped that this president would not be as bad as I feared, but he turned out to be worse. The reality is that this appointment will always be in the shadows of unethical behaviors and lies, and anything that starts out under such a pall is unlikely to yield anything but bitter fruit.
Let’s roll this out. First of all, the very first Supreme Court nomination was stolen from President Obama. Ten months before the election, Obama nominated Merrick Garland, a nomination that could have garnered bipartisan support as liberal, but not extreme. McConnell claimed that it was “too close to the election”, saying that the voters “should have a voice.” Today’s confirmation shows that this apparent concern for the “voice of the people” was nothing but a lie. Despite criticism and repeated criticism of backing out of the very precedent he himself set, McConnell pushed forward with the most rushed Supreme Court nomination in history proving that he always was far more concerned about his own interests than the voice of the people he is supposed to be serving. What makes this all the more appalling is the question of if he sat on Obama’s nomination in the hopes of getting a Republican president, or if he did so in the hopes of getting a white president, a question to which we may never know the truth.
Second, the Constitution was clearly and explicitly created for three independent branches of government so as to provide a system of checks and balances. Here, the Executive branch had had control of the Legislative branch for four years thanks to McConnell who blocks any legislation he cannot strong-arm into his way. Now, three justices of the Supreme Court are his nominations, one illegitimately, or fully a third of the court justices. Throughout his presidency there have been serious concerns about legal and Constitutional violations, such as the emoluments clause. Without an independent court, how are the American people supposed to have faith if the court decides in his favor on any pending litigation? This presidency, and this court appointment, will erode faith in both the justice system and the government as a whole.
Third, the Constitution has defined out nation to be a democracy, not a theocracy. People settled this nation to escape religious oppression, meaning the right to practice their beliefs their own way. Unfortunately, the Republican Party has been desperately courting the religious right to find the voters they need to gain and maintain power. In so doing, they have tailored their actions towards this religious tilt rather than legal. The law is that abortion is legal, but with so many Christians arguing that abortion is a “sin” in their faith they want it outlawed, a stand adopted by the Republican party who has repeatedly spoken out against the Roe v. Wade decision. In another decision, same-gender couples have the same rights, as Americans, as any other Americans. Again, this is opposed by the Christian right claiming it is a sin, and therefore the law should be against it. The President and many Republican Congressional representatives have reflected this belief, and even explicitly stated a desire to overturn it. Examples go on, but today’s confirmation puts on the bench a justice that has publicly stated her belief in the Christian nation model, a model of theocracy, no different from the most oppressive governments in the world.
My readers need not agree with me. I understand that there are those, like my friends, who believe this is a fantastic development, and a step in the right direction, a step of less government and higher morals. At stake are cases that have the potential to limit women’s rights, the rights of minorities, freedom of the press, even the right of free speech. We need a Supreme Court that has the balance to legitimately discuss these issues without proclivity of personal leanings, and more importantly, a Supreme Court that gives people faith in the justice system. As our president is working hard to oppress large swaths of people, this is simply the wrong thing to do.