For Trump, he is on the path of recovering the ‘lost’ glory that the American institutions once had. At least, that is what he claims. He felt America lost its dominant power and hence, decided to contest the presidential elections so that he could ‘Make America Great Again.’ He felt the traditional American allies are feeding on the American defence expenditure to protect their own national interests and border and hence asked fellow nations to scale up the contribution to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from the current level of 2% of GDP to 4% of respective GDPs. He felt that America must end the war with North Korea and hence, negotiated with the North Korean dictator. He wanted to bully the G7 leaders and hence, left its summit venue even before it got concluded. He admires Russian President Vladimir Putin for his stubbornness and resistance towards liberal ideologies, and hence praised him in Helsinki. Trump feels that the American Supreme Court no longer upholds the traditional American values and has become liberal more than ever before. So, he now plans to make it conservative again by nominating a judge, who is known for his conservative, originalist interpretations of American Constitution. If the house gives a majority vote in favour of the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, which would mean that the Supreme Court would tilt in favour of conservatism. For Trump and his friends, this would be the single-most decision that they have taken during his tenure at White House. Unlike several other countries, the American Supreme Court plays a crucial decisive role in determining the fate of not just the internal politics of America, but also that of the world as well. The world’s most powerful nation is still the world’s most powerful and it’s Supreme Court, even more powerful.
Why does the American Supreme Court matter so much?
The Supreme Court of America is one of the most powerful institutions in the United States, which dictates the destiny and direction of the American polity. It is so powerful that it takes decisions over disputes that can influence the lives of ordinary men and women in the country. While Supreme Court doesn’t listen to each and every dispute in the country, it is the court of appeals- meaning, it is the last resort for the parties in a dispute who wants to reconsider the decisions made by the lower courts. This means that, once a lower court gives a verdict on any matter, this decision is binding except when struck down by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is also important because it settles matters that are related to constitution, federal structure, human rights and the overall American polity. It was the Supreme Court that made abortion legal in the country at a time when more than half of the American States had laws that made abortion illegal. In the landmark Roe vs. Wade Case, American Supreme Court made a precedent which was later copied by several democracies of the West and eventually, by the world itself. The historic Bush vs. Gore Case of 2000 is one of the disputes in which the court’s decision had an impact that was not confined within the boundaries and polity of America. In the Bush vs. Gore Case, the then Supreme Court of United States ruled in favour of granting the electoral votes of Florida to George W. Bush, thus bringing his final tally to 271 electoral votes. Al Gore, his Democratic opponent ended up with 266 votes and tasted a defeat against Bush, even though he had more popular votes than that of his opponent. It was George Bush who, in turn, declared war on Iraq in 2003 and thus dragging the entire Middle East region into everlasting political instability. The refugee crisis that the world is facing today was also a result of the instability in the Middle East region.
How would Justice Brett Kavanaugh make SC Conservative?
American Democrats have already started campaigning fiercely to defeat Trump’s nominee Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the Senate confirmation vote, which will happen soon. Justice Brett Kavanaugh is known for his conservative track record, which includes a 2013 case where he denied abortion rights to a refugee teenager who entered the State of Texas illegally. He has also made observations in 2009, favouring the oval office, when he proposed that the President’ office must be made immune from criminal investigations and prosecution as being President is one of the most ‘difficult tasks’ in the modern day America. He is also deemed to be a polarizing figure in the healthcare debate and fiercely opposes the ‘Obama care’ implemented by the former Democratic president.
It is indeed a turning point in the history of the American Supreme Court. If inducted, Justice Brett Kavanaugh and his fellow conservative caucus would make the court the most conservative one ever in the history of America. For judicial offices like Supreme Court, being too liberal or too conservative will do no good in the long run. Given Trump has made the ‘right’ nomination, the ball is now in the court of the Senate. Senate, and only Senate, can save the Supreme Court from being dominated by conservatism.
Picture Credits: RFE/RL