The most important battle in the senate, if not in the entire Congress, will not be over President Trump’s cabinet confirmations but over who will be the next pick to sit on the Supreme Court. With the court, down to eight members on the nation’s highest legal tribunal, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has already threatened to stall hearings in order to deny the incoming president an appointment.
Currently the court is evenly split between liberal and conservative justices at 4 to 4 due to the untimely death in February 2016 of Justice Antonin Scalia. Filling that vacancy became one of the major rallying cries for conservatives as well as for Christians who have a list of issues including right to life, second amendment and religious rights issues that will come before the Supreme Court soon.
Senate Minority Leader Schumer is hell bent in making it nearly impossible for Trump to successfully seat the ninth justice. He stated, “We are not going to make it easy for [Republicans] to pick a Supreme Court justice.” He added in his MSNBC interview, “It’s hard for me to imagine a nominee that Donald Trump would choose, that would get Republican support, that we could support.” The downside to Schumer’s partisanship is that with only eight there is no true tie-breaker in any close court ruling.
Can America survive with only eight justices on the court?
The answer is yes and there is historical fact to back this up. The nation began with only six Supreme Court justices and the number expanded and decreased throughout the 19th century. Finally, Congress voted in 1869 to officially set the number at nine. Does having eight justices on the Supreme Court cripple America?
It truly depends on which set of legal scholars you decide to believe. Of course, in close votes, court decisions may end in a tie. According to Georgia State University law professor Eric Segall, without the tie breaking vote the nation has not suffered dramatically. He claimed, while the high court is proceeding at a slower pace, “We’ve gone a year, and the sky hasn’t fallen.”
If the senate minority leader wants to play turnabout is fair play, Americans will nail his hypocritical hide to the proverbial political wall. After all it was the Democrats including Schumer who railed against the senate GOP for stalling Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland from receiving an up or down confirmation vote in 2016.
The partisan Democrat pundits in the mainstream media even predicted that by putting off Obama’s nominee confirmation hearings America’s legal system would be irreparably harmed. Now that the incoming president will be selecting a nominee for the high court who Trump promises will be conservative, Schumer is voicing a change of heart on the potential harm to the nation.
The bottom line is that Trump and the GOP controlled senate hold the upper hand since they have a tight grip on the reins of power. Sure, Senate Minority Leader Schumer could always attempt a likely filibuster of any and all future court nominees during Trump’s presidency. But the Republicans hold the winning ace in the deck, which would be to abolish a filibuster for Supreme Court appointments. This would make a President court appointment only need 51 votes or a simple majority to be confirmed.
President Trump and the Republican senate majority hold the slam dunk for America when it comes to creating a new conservative Supreme Court majority. The battle begins soon, but the war to protect the right to life, the second amendment and religious freedom can and will be won over the next four years with a President Trump in the Oval Office.
photo credit: Talk Radio News Service Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Schumer Discuss U.S. Missile Defense via photopin (license)