The Supreme Court Short List
This week President Trump added 20 more conservative names to his shortlist for potential Nominees to the Supreme Court of the United States. The LGBTQ+ community harshly criticized the additions. Sharon McGowan, Legal Director for Lambda Legal – an LGBTQ+ civil rights advocacy nonprofit – stated, the list is “teeming with individuals who have alarming anti-LGBTQ and anti-civil rights record…”
The idea of another conservative judge on the Supreme Court does not just affect the LGBTQ+ community. Immediately, Tom Cotton tweeted out, “It’s time for Roe v. Wade to go,” after being named on the list.
The Theme of Attacking Certain Rights
Weeks earlier the Trump administration filed an emergency request with the Supreme Court of the United States. The request filed several weeks ago, is to lift a District Court of Maryland’s ruling. That decision blocks enforcement of federal regulations that require individuals to visit medical providers in-person to obtain a pill. The pill, Mifeprex, is used to induce abortions within the first 10 days of pregnancy. Preceded by the Trump Administrations’ support of the Louisiana Law attempting to regulate abortions. Yet, the court struck down the case as unconstitutional in a close 5 to 4 decision. Jenny Lawson, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Votes, expressed concern that Trump wants to, “undermine your civil and reproductive rights.”
“undermine your civil and reproductive rights.”Jenny Lawson, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Votes
Additionally, Planned Parenthood notes that the Trump administration is “trying to strip transgender people of their recognized identities and civil rights protections, putting barriers in the way of LGBTQ people’s access to health care, and nominating judges and officials with strong anti-LGBTQ records.” And, the SCOTUS could reshape healthcare access that would negatively impact these groups.
What this Means
What would another conservative Justice on the Supreme Court look like? Whether the appointees implements traditional conservative notions of judicial deference is another story. Well, in theory, the conservative Justices defer to the legislature to create laws. A problem, they see, with cases like Roe v. Wade is that it is judicially created law. So, states would decide on abortions if Roe is overturned.
Let’s assume that SCOTUS does overturn Roe v. Wade. Currently, Trump has packed the courts with conservative judges. And, the Louisiana case would be unconstitutional as a result. This would make obtaining an abortion legal but practically impossible.
So far, Trump’s two new appointees have not disturbed the delicate ecosystem of the Supreme Court. However, the possibility of another would give the court a 6 to 3 conservative majority. Even, if Chief Justice Roberts were now occasionally the swing vote the liberal block would still lose many of these social policy cases.
The Trump administration called for Joe Biden’s campaign to release the names of his appointees. Though, it appears the Biden campaign is waiting, most likely for the opportune time in the campaign trail. However, Look for him to have a list of names with ultra-qualified and diverse candidates, similar to his Vice Presidential Nomination of Kamala Harris.
George Williams | Law Student