Dan Calabrese: If Trump Has To Sacrifice Himself To Get a Conservative Justice on the Bench, It's Worth It


No conservative wants Joe Biden to win the presidency. OK, John Kasich claims to be a conservative, but he hasn’t acted like one since the mid-1990s.

There’s a certain political calculation that suggests Trump may anger voters if he pushes through a conservative replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election.

Some polls indicate a majority of voters want the nomination to wait until the winner of the election is known and can make the choice. In Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, William Galston speculated that an aggressive stance on this issue might hurt Trump at the polls in November.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think that’s true.

But let’s say for the sake of discussion that it is. Let’s say that, by pushing through a new conservative justice to replace RBG, Trump would be sacrificing himself and handing the presidency to Joe Biden.

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Would it be worth it? Obviously, conservatives would rather gain a Supreme Court seat and still keep the White House (and I think we can), but if we had to choose, the unequivocal answer is yes, it would be worth it. A left-wing Supreme Court can do even more damage to the country than a Biden-Harris presidency.

The Supreme Court has served as the last protector of some of Americans’ most fundamental rights in recent years.

That includes the rights of Christian business owners to decline participation in things that violate their faith. It includes the rights of business owners to express themselves on matters of public interest. The court has protected the interests of trademark holders, pastors and gun owners running afoul of public opinion.

Yet even while it has tended to limit the power and scope of the federal government, it has upheld the right of the federal government to enforce the security of its borders while reversing efforts by federal district judges to exceed their authority and issue nationwide injunctions against perfectly legal executive orders by the president.

Do you think it would be worth it for Trump to appoint a conservative SCOTUS justice even if it means sacrificing the election?

Perhaps the left’s most insidious attempt to use the legal system rests with its constant assault on the rights to free speech and freedom of religion. Much of the left-wing legal community is prepared to ban speech it doesn’t like by labeling it “hate speech,” even though the First Amendment makes no distinction between that and any other kind of speech.

In such a political environment, a Supreme Court majority that protects constitutional rights has been more essential than ever.

Yet even with a majority that usually leans 5-4 in the conservative direction, some rights have been lost.

In 2012, with Chief Justice Roberts joining the four liberals, the court upheld the Democrats’ completely unconstitutional mandate that everyone in the country buy health insurance. Roberts also joined the liberal Justices this year in striking from the Census questionnaire a perfectly innocuous question about citizenship.

If the Supreme Court is not committed to protecting Americans’ constitutional rights, it becomes easy for politicians of either party to run roughshod over them.

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That has made the appointments of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh among President Trump’s most important achievements as president. If he is able to add another outstanding justice to the court, it will cement for years to come the commitment of the Supreme Court to serve as a check on the unconstitutional excesses of both parties in the other two branches of government.

If President Trump pushes through a new conservative justice, and it costs him the presidency, that will be a bitter pill to swallow. Again, I do not expect it to go that way. But if it did, on balance, the chance to solidify the court in this way would outweigh even the chance to hang onto the White House for the next four years.

A single Trump term that gave us a 6-3 Supreme Court majority would, on balance, have to be considered a triumph.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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Dan Calabrese has been editor of since 2012 and was the syndicator of Herman Cain's newspaper column from 2006 to 2012. He has written for a wide variety of publications, from The Detroit News and Human Events to Transport Topics and Pet Age. Dan lives with his wife and son in Royal Oak, Michigan.