In a recent Fox News column, John Yoo, a former adviser to President George W. Bush, endorsed President Donald Trump’s re-election on the grounds that it would potentially solidify a conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court for years to come.
Yoo argued that although Trump has already “had the opportunity to nominate Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, the Court nevertheless rejected the administration’s positions on immigration, gay rights and abortion this term.”
“A robust majority”
The former presidential adviser on topics including the wartime torture of terrorists went on to declare that conservatives looking to their majority as a safeguard against a progressive judicial takeover had their hopes “dashed” over the course of a series of recent rulings.
Bush appointee Chief Justice John Roberts is included in the conservative wing, though he has cast decisive votes alongside the court’s four liberal justices.
His decisions have led to criticism by some conservatives and growing concern that the court’s balance of power could shift — especially if presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is elected in November.
“To finally give conservatives a robust majority on the Supreme Court, they will have to redouble their efforts in the coming November election,” Yoo wrote.
Trump ran on a platform in 2016 that included a promise to choose potential Supreme Court nominees from a list of prospects. The move earned support among his right-wing base and he has followed through on his promise.
“Change the arc of constitutional law”
The president has subsequently confirmed that he would be releasing another list prior to the 2020 election, a pledge Biden has so far declined to match.
As with any presidency, one or more Supreme Court seats could become vacant over the next four years. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is again battling cancer, and Stephen Breyer are both octogenarians and represent the court’s liberal wing.
“Should Justice Ginsburg or another liberal justice retire, the White House would have the opportunity to cement a more secure six-justice conservative majority,” Yoo wrote of the potential power a Trump re-election could yield.
He noted that such an opportunity would help define the president’s legacy, writing that Trump “could change the arc of constitutional law for the next quarter-century.”
For those conservatives still looking for a reason to support Trump in November, this appears to be a compelling argument.