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October 14, 2016

The Atlantic: On the GOP's SCOTUS Focus.

See in today's The Atlantic Why the Supreme Court Matters More to Republicans than Trump. Two exceprts:

Conservatives have prized the Supreme Court as much if not more than Congress and the presidency for decades. But the degree to which it is driving activists and party leaders this year is without precedent. In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has kept the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat open for an astonishing eight months and counting just so that a Republican president—any Republican—might have the opportunity to fill it. And it’s not just Scalia. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg (age 83), Anthony Kennedy (80), and Stephen Breyer (78) could all retire during the next president’s term.

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And for 25 years before Scalia’s death in February, the justices have, on balance, been friendly to the GOP. Republicans haven’t had the presidency or Congress for much of that time, but the Court has tilted conservative. And as they face an uncertain future in which demographic trends will make the nation younger, more diverse, and thus more favorable to Democrats, conservatives view the Supreme Court as a final bulwark they must defend at almost any cost.

“We are only one justice away from losing our most basic rights, and the next president will appoint as many as four new justices,” Cruz wrote in the Facebook post announcing his belated endorsement of Trump. The “basic rights” he was referencing include the right to bear arms, religious liberty, and free speech—as conservatives see them. And of course, the conservative dream of overturning Roe v. Wade would die for another decade or more if the court shifts left.

supreme-court-1930s-2 (1).jpg
The U.S. Supreme Court in 1930s.

Posted by JD Hull at October 14, 2016 11:45 PM

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