With the latest string of blows to our liberties by the U.S. Supreme Court, freedom-minded citizens must admit what we’re doing is not working. We need to tell Republicans that giving them the White House and the Senate to appoint judges is not going to cut it anymore.
The biggest point that convinced some Trump doubters to cast their vote for him in 2016 was his promise to appoint conservatives to the U.S. Supreme Court. As in the past, Republicans also used this as leverage for citizens to keep giving them control of the Senate.
After this week, however, with the court taking another dig at our religious liberties and blocking Trump’s war on illegal immigration, many conservatives are throwing their hands up in the air, wondering what it’s going to take to advance self-governance policies.
We felt this way after President George W. Bush’s pick—the infamous Chief Justice John Roberts—stabbed citizens in the back on Obamacare. There’s more soreness after the fights waged to get Gorsuch and Kavanaugh appointed.
Let’s dispel the notion that we just need to elect even more conservative presidents and senators. In my opinion, we’ve not had as conservative a president as Trump since Reagan, yet even Reagan had a so-so record when it came to Supreme Court nominees (Trump has time if another vacancy opens).
Even looking at other countries, there’s more evidence that the solution isn’t just electing more conservative Republican presidents and senators.
Our conservative brothers and sisters in Canada have had much to gripe about with their nation’s high court. In 2006, a conservative revolution of over a decade finally succeeded in taking the reins of power when Stephen Harper was elected prime minister.
Harper was a revolutionary like Trump, but different in temperament. Unlike either George W. Bush or his father, Harper actually cut federal spending and delivered a balanced budget. He ended Canadian taxpayer dollars funding abortions in other countries, and he destroyed the government registry of long guns. Trump even borrowed Harper’s policy of cutting funding to their Environmental Protection Agency and requiring it to eliminate regulations when writing new ones.
As Obama dragged our country left, Harper was leading Canada in the opposite direction.
Yet, even Harper failed when it came to nominating judges to Canada’s Supreme Court, despite appearing to be earnest in finding the most conservative judges possible. Like our court, theirs has nine justices. During his time, Harper appointed a whopping six.
They turned on him, and the court was blocking parts of his agenda.
Harper’s response? He changed strategies. He declared open war on the court and started trying to use his power as prime minister to lead the Parliament in going after them. The nation was so shocked that he had to back down, but the principle remains: Harper realized what he was doing didn’t work, and he changed his course.
We need to admit the same. There are plenty of ideas worth researching on how to check the U.S. Supreme Court’s power. At one time, conservative commentator and lawyer Mark Levin suggested amending the U.S. Constitution so future Supreme Court decisions could be overridden by a supermajority of state legislatures.
Alliance Defending Freedom CEO Michael Farris once suggested the court be reformed to have 50 justices—one from each state. Each state could decide how to pick their judge (having a popular election, having their legislature make the decision, or having their governor make the nomination).
Each state could also reserve the power to recall their appointed justice if he or she didn’t rule in the manner they originally claimed they would. This would make judges more accountable to the states and the people—not Washington D.C.
Ideas are fine and good, but it’s important for you, the voter, to know what it is you can do right now to make a difference.
We have an election in November. Seats in the Senate, House, and the White House are on the ballot, as are many state legislative seats.
Ask all of your Republican candidates what they’re going to do about the Supreme Court. If they say, “Give us the White House and the Senate so we can appoint more conservative judges,” kindly adopt the advice financial advisor Dave Ramsey gave when negotiating prices with salesmen:
“That’s not good enough.”