Republicans Must Honor the Trump-McConnell Legacy After SCOTUS Victories

Opinion

Ted Harvey

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Posted: Jul 05, 2022 12:27 PM

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From religious freedom to the right to bear arms and the end of Roe v. Wade, constitutional conservatism is on a roll in America. Today’s Supreme Court is officially the most conservative in 90 years.

After a slew of recent Supreme Court victories, federal power has been diminished. States’ rights, meanwhile, have been restored in more ways than one. The Constitution now has a defender in the Supreme Court. And the radical Left is raging.

Republicans have much to celebrate. And they have two people to thank in particular: Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). 

It is important to remember that, back in 2013, Senate Democrats—then in the majority—triggered the nuclear option for the first time. Led by then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Democrats changed the rules so that cabinet and lower court nominees could be confirmed with a simple majority, rather than the required 60-vote threshold.

Fast forward to just before the 2016 election, when Republicans were in the Senate majority. All of a sudden, Justice Antonin Scalia passed away, offering lame-duck President Obama a historic third appointment to the Supreme Court. In an unprecedented move, McConnell announced that the Senate would not hold any committee hearings on Scalia’s replacement until after the November election. This would provide the new president with the opportunity to make an appointment to fill that vacancy.

Eleven days after his inauguration, President Trump quickly nominated Neil Gorsuch. When it came time to confirm Gorsuch, outraged Democrats made it impossible for Republicans to clear the required 60-vote threshold for a super-majority. It became McConnell’s turn to use the nuclear option and change the rules from 60 votes to 51 votes. And, just like that, the chess board was set for a historic change to the composition of the Supreme Court.

A little over a year later, President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to fill the position vacated by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Then, in September 2022, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died from complications of pancreatic cancer at the age of 87. Ginsburg’s death opened a vacancy on the Supreme Court just six weeks before the 2020 presidential election, granting Trump and McConnell another historic opportunity.  

Only 38 days before the presidential election, Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett to succeed Ginsburg. Despite blocking Merrick Garland’s nomination during the 2016 election year, McConnell strategically expedited the confirmation of Barrett, giving Trump his third Supreme Court victory—the most by any president since Ronald Reagan.

Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett have all played pivotal roles in championing the Constitution under President Biden, who relentlessly attacks it. When the sitting U.S. president claims the Constitution “was never absolute,” constitutional jurists are critical to the functioning of American democracy. Trump knew it then, and it’s even more true now.

Fortunately, the Supreme Court isn’t alone in its conservative jurisprudence. Under his leadership, Trump appointed nearly as many federal appeals court judges as his predecessor—in half the time. In doing so, he flipped three of America’s 13 federal appeals courts (in Atlanta, New York, and Philadelphia).

McConnell deserves praise too. His Senate leadership made it possible for Trump to rein in the excesses of the Obama administration and reverse the judiciary’s steady decline into naked liberal activism. Nomination after nomination, McConnell worked closely with the Trump administration to deliver charismatic, qualified believers in the Constitution. Even the liberal media has since conceded defeat, with the Trump-McConnell picks expected to “shape American law for generations.” According to Obama official Christopher Kang, “These judges are going to be ruling for decades to come.”

Of course, “ruling” is the wrong word. Conservatives know that judges don’t in fact rule (memo to liberals), but the judiciary branch does serve as a check and balance against left-wing activism that violates the Constitution. And the judiciary is finally working properly as that counterweight.

However, Republicans cannot rest on their laurels. The unprecedented success of Trump and McConnell—the most impactful Senate Majority Leader ever—only proves that elections matter. 

As historians often question, do great men make history, or does history make great men? In an odd twist of fate, two American patriots working in unison have changed the course of history for generations to come.

Let the Supreme Court’s recent rulings serve as inspiration in 2022. With loss after Supreme Court loss, Biden Democrats will fight back. From protests to riots and everything in between, the radical Left will stop at nothing to vilify Republicans.

Republicans must respond: Go to the polls and vote your conscience. Now is not the time to let up—not with a failed leader “in charge” and the economy in flux.

Give thanks for Trump and McConnell by voting Republican in 2022. Honor their legacy by voting for it again.

Ted Harvey serves as chairman of the Committee to Defeat the President.

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