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Speaking Of The Supreme Court, Have You Seen Who Scott Walker Nominated?

Illustration for article titled Speaking Of The Supreme Court, Have You Seen Who Scott Walker Nominated?em/em

The easiest reason for Bernie Sanders supporters to vote for Hillary Clinton is the Supreme Court. I don’t think that’s the “best” reason, but Bernie people can’t bitch about money in politics and then let Donald Trump nominate the next one (or two, or three) Supreme Court justices. That’s just hypocrisy. Your Jill Stein protest vote will do nothing to overturn Citizens United. But one vote from Merrick Garland as opposed to Antonin Scalia can flip that issue.

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One vote can flip the Court on the death penalty. On guns. On immigration reform. On criminal justice. Do you care about the issues? Or do you just care about the “optics”? Your righteous indignation over nominating a career politician to serve as the most powerful politician on the planet would be more interesting to me if it wasn’t covered in crap.

It would take the Trump administration no effort at all to turn the Court into such a hard line conservative institution that whatever Democrat you people love in 2020 (which will be the next time many Bernie supporters will even BOTHER TO PAY ATTENTION to the political process) will find it impossible to enact “lasting change.” This isn’t a freaking term paper, we’re talking about the body which gets to define the laws.

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For just a taste of the kind of white men (and they will be, exclusively, white males) Trump will bring, take a look at who Scott Walker just appointed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Walker is a hardcore conservative without the charisma to pull off open bigotry required to win in today’s Republican party. But his pick to fill a seat (Walker has sole appointment power to fill seats that open up between judicial elections) is a total yahoo who hits all of the racist notes on the dog-whistle. The appointee’s name is Daniel Kelly. He’s a lawyer, but has never been a judge, and he thinks affirmative action is tantamount to economic slavery. From Think Progress:

“Affirmative action and slavery differ, obviously, in significant ways,” Kelly wrote in a book chapter the new justice included in his application to sit on the state’s highest court. “But it’s more a question of degree than principle, for they both spring from the same taproot. Neither can exist without the foundational principle that it is acceptable to force someone into an unwanted economic relationship. Morally, and as a matter of law, they are the same.”

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The statement flatly misunderstands the nature of affirmative action. Employers and universities want to hire more black and Latino candidates, and it is worth noting that those people want to be employed and educated. But Think Progress points out the real jurisprudential problem with beliefs such as Kelly’s:

More importantly, however, if Kelly were actually correct that there is some “foundational principle” that prohibits the state from requiring someone to enter “into an unwanted economic relationship,” then most American civil rights, labor and employment law would need to vanish. Minimum wage laws require employers to enter into an economic relationship where workers are paid a certain amount, despite the employer’s preference to enter into a different relationship where the workers are paid less. Anti-discrimination laws require employers to hire African-Americans, women, or other groups that the employer might despise. The federal ban on whites-only lunch counters forces restaurants to enter into an economic relationship by selling meals to customers the restaurant would prefer not to serve.

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And that’s the kind of guy Republicans choose to serve on courts. We’re talking about people who don’t agree with the legal underpinnings of civil rights or anti-discrimination laws. It’s not just the big ticket items that these people oppose, it’s a systemic curtailing of the right to “due process” so that it only applies to the very wealthy or very lucky.

If Trump wins, he’s going to give Ted Cruz a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court (that’s the only reasonable political move for a “President” Trump, as Cruz is a strong conservative and the only plausible primary challenger to a sitting Republican President in 2020). And he’ll try to do something to get Ruth Bader Ginsburg off the Court, if she doesn’t die of natural causes. Almost all the justices are old, and life is fragile, so any number of them could die and deepen Trump’s influence on the Supreme Court.

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Or he’ll appoint Chris Christie. Or he’ll appoint RUDOLPH GIULIANI.

But please, tell me more about Jill Stein and the rigged way Hillary Clinton won more votes, states, and delegates this primary season. Because it’s your pain that’s really the most important thing right now.

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