BAYHAM: The Conservative Case Against Donald Trump

One of the big concerns amongst Republican voters is the future of the federal judiciary, which has assumed a proverbial veto over laws that were legally passed by the branch of government most reflective of the public’s beliefs.

Regardless of your personal view on issues from ObamaCare to same sex marriage, the means by which unelected leftist jurists have imposed their personal philosophies on communities and the nation is both offensive and unconstitutional.

In fact we’re approaching a point in the governance of this country where ideologically hardened leftwing judges will act as a black-robed opposition bloc to a conservative aligned legislative branch and White House.

Conservatives over the years have been frustrated by the judicial nominee crap shoot by Republican presidents in stark contrast to the ideological certainty of those appointed by Democrats.

The last moderate ever appointed by a Democrat to the US Supreme Court was Byron White, who was tapped by John F. Kennedy and broke the bleeding hearts of Democrats by not consistently issuing Democratic rulings.

While stridently liberal appointees by Democratic presidents have sailed through Senate confirmation without much fuss, conservative court nominees have endured a much more turbulent experience resulting in the defeat of several and their substitution with mystery nominees who have disappointed.

Four of the court’s nine justices are over the age of 75 and the next president could end up appointing no less than three members of the nation’s highest court in the first term alone.

If Donald Trump were up for the Supreme Court and not the GOP presidential nomination, many of the same folks chanting his name and sporting his trademark red hats would be apoplectic with good reason: Trump is perhaps the only Republican presidential candidate to have espoused more positions on social issues than Mitt Romney.

Trump has defended Planned Parenthood, backing up the abortion mill’s narrative that terminating pregnancies is practically a side business. Furthermore in an interview with Tim Russert from 1999, when Trump was pursuing a bid for the social issue neutral Reform Party (!) presidential nomination, the real estate developer referenced how he was raised in New York and thus is “very pro-choice”. Perhaps this is what Ted Cruz meant by New York values?

Proving that he is truly a peer of Florida’s Politician for All Seasons Charlie Crist (who has lost statewide elections as a Republican, Democrat and Independent), the Republican frontrunner and onetime Reform Party White House aspirant has been a registered Democrat and generous donor to the campaigns of Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy, and Hillary Clinton.

Trump’s stance on the Second Amendment has also bounced around over the years. Trump (circa 2016) opposes gun control yet Reform Party era Trump (circa 1999) advocated a ban on “assault weapons”, which one assumes to be a gun that resembles something from an action/adventure movie. You know those kind of guns.

I resent President George H.W. Bush’s appointment of the seemingly innocuous David Souter to the Supreme Court more than breaking his no new tax pledge. Tax hikes can be repealed but a bad jurist can inflict damage for decades, as Souter did in practically every case where the court was ideologically split.

There are a number of conservative alternatives to Trump seeking the presidency. However none of the other candidates, including Jeb Bush, had at any time staked out positions on abortion, gay marriage, gun control, or universal health care to the left of Trump. All they have to go on is his latest word on the subject matters.

For a party that has agonized over unpredictable high court judicial appointments, entrusting several those appointments with an individual who has been all over the political map makes little sense for thinking conservatives.

And yet many evangelicals and sincere folks on the Right are blinded by naiveté, opportunism or are simply star struck by Trump and have rallied to his constantly evolving standard, dutifully leaping on political hand grenades, many of which the billionaire himself has pulled the pins and casually tossed.

Throughout his very public political and philosophical shapeshifting over the past quarter-century Trump has embraced different positions on matters of life and liberty and different party affiliations. Why stalwart Republicans and social conservatives would trust a political chameleon with our party and the issues we hold dear is astounding.

No good conservative would want another Souter on the Supreme Court; why would we nominate one for the presidency?



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