Donald J. Trump says he will reject any candidate for the U.S. Supreme Court who advocates “judicial activism.”
Well now. How about that?
Here’s part of what he said in a radio address:
Judges are not supposed to rewrite the law, reinvent the Constitution, or substitute their own opinions for the will of the people expressed through their laws,” Trump said. “We reject judicial activism and policymaking from the bench.”
“In choosing a new justice, I will select someone with impeccable credentials, great intellect, unbiased judgement, and deep reverence for the laws and Constitution of the United States,” he added.
Justice Anthony Kennedy’s upcoming retirement from the Supreme Court has launched a serious national debate over the future of what many call “settled law,” meaning the legalization of abortion in the United States.
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said the next justice must leave his or her hands off of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion. Any hint of overturning it, she said, is a dealbreaker.
That brings up a critical point. If Roe v. Wade is “settled law,” does the court run the risk of becoming a panel of “judicial activists” if it decides to repeal any or all of the reproductive rights guarantee?
The president has said he would appoint a justice who would overturn Roe, but then has said he won’t ask any of the candidates that question explicitly. He’ll know their views on the issue if he takes time to read their writings or understands their notion of the how justices should rule on these matters.
I guess I could add that judicial activism isn’t a malady that afflicts only liberal judges. Conservatives can get pretty damn activist, too.