I don’t like Donald Trump. I think he’s rude, crude and clumsy. His off-the-cuff remarks reveal an arrogance and a sense of entitlement that is unbecoming on the world stage. He has talked about lusting after women–an unattractive characteristic, I would think, for the fairer half of the population. I do not believe he is the best choice for America, and I can’t believe that I may be put in the position of voting for him as the lesser of two evils.
BUT…. Perhaps he’s the best we’ve got. The news today that The Donald unveiled a list of his top picks for the Supreme Court gave me renewed hope that he will, in fact, appoint solid conservative justices who will uphold the Constitution. Trump’s picks may choose to look again at the 1973 decision which rocked the nation and gave us abortion-on-demand, at any time during the pregnancy, for any reason.
Earlier in the campaign season, I looked at the disconcerting possibility that we could, in fact, end up with the choice between Hillary and Trump. Back in March, I still had hope that a Ted Cruz or a Marco Rubio might advance in the polls and capture the attention of the electorate; but if that didn’t happen, I suggested that Hillary might be a better choice for President. Not that I can stomach the woman! Her love affair with Planned Parenthood, her irresponsible transmission of State secrets via personal server, her “Who cares?” attitude toward the lives lost in Benghazi, the prospect of her husband’s debauchery in the Lincoln bedroom….
But in March, I thought that these very real concerns might be overshadowed by one far-reaching concern: namely, that Donald Trump had an uncontrollable temper. After all, this is a guy who got into a hissy-fight with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly over the reporter’s tough questions in an August 2015 debate. Would a man who so vociferously attacked his critics be trusted not to launch our nation into nuclear war if a foreign leader poked fun at his toupee?
In the ensuing months, Trump has mellowed a bit, although the rough edges are still visible. I was pleased in early May when Trump hired John Mashburn, a committed pro-lifer, as his domestic policy chief. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, described Mashburn as “a smart strategist with deep pro-life roots.” Dannenfelser added that the new Trump policy chief is well-respected across every issue set.
And now today, candidate Trump released a list of 11 Supreme Court picks–those leading conservative candidates who will be vetted to fill the Scalia vacancy and possible future vacancies, if Trump is elected in November. Trump called them “representative of the kind of Constitutional principles I value.” And the list is strong!
Associated Press listed the eight men and three women who made Trump’s short list:
- Steve Colloton of Iowa, who was nominated to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals by former President George W. Bush. Colloton was a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice William H. Rehnquist.
- Allison Eid of Colorado, the 95th justice of the Colorado Supreme Court. Eid has a successful record both academically and professionally, including a stint as law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
- Raymond Gruender of Missouri, judge of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Gruender dissented when the court upheld an injunction in the case of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota v. Rounds, which struck down an informed consent law. In his dissent, Gruender argued that the law, which would have required abortion providers to inform patients, among other things, that an “abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being,” was constitutional and did not unduly burden women seeking abortions or infringe on the freedom of speech of physicians.
- Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, judge of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Appointed by George W. Bush, he earned his undergrad degree at Notre Dame and studied law at Georgetown.
- Raymond Kethledge of Michigan, judge of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. He served as clerk to Michigan’s Spencer Abraham, then went on to clerk for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. For me as a Michigan voter, this is a big plus: Bush’s nomination of Kethledge was opposed by Michigan’s liberal Democratic Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow.
- Joan Larsen of Michigan, Michigan Supreme Court Justice. Before her appointment by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Larsen taught at U-Michigan’s School of Law, and she was assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel. Larsen graduated first in her class at Northwestern University School of Law, and served as Articles Editor of the university’s Law Review.
- Thomas Rex Lee of Utah, Associate Chief Justice on the Utah Supreme Court.
- William Pryor of Alabama, judge on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and Commissioner on the United States Sentencing Commission. Previously, he was the Attorney General of the State of Alabama from 1997 to 2004. Pryor has called Roe v. Wade Roe v. Wade was the “worst abomination in the history of constitutional law.”
- David Stras of Minnesota, associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. He clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
- Diane Sykes of Wisconsin, judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Don Willett of Texas, justice of the Texas Supreme Court. Among Willett’s many posts, he served under George W. Bush as Special Assistant to the President and Director of Law and Policy for the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
I have not yet endorsed Trump–and chances are, I will not do so. For one thing, the campaign is ongoing–and I think the candidates deserve to be heard, as we move into the phase of two-party debates. And while I may wince and pull the lever for Trump, it will not be with a sense of joy. I don’t think I can muster the enthusiasm to “endorse” this bobble-headed
At least for today, though, I’m allowing the idea to percolate.