I’ll leave aside specifics of Democratic Party Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s goals in appointing Supreme Court Justices. The overriding goal of Clinton is to appoint Justices who meet a series of litmus tests, none having to do with the Justice candidate’s view of the Constitution. A potential appointee must explicitly agree that Citizens United must be reversed. A potential appointee must explicitly agree that limits to individual Americans’ right to keep and bear Arms must be subject to further government restrictions—including Government determining what weapons are fit for Americans to have (no “assault” weapons—defined by her Government—for instance). A potential appointee must explicitly agree that voter ID laws, which protect the sanctity of an American’s vote, are anathema. A potential appointee must explicitly agree that religious freedom is a matter of government determination with nothing to do with individual conscience.
Clinton’s goal, then, is to turn the Supreme Court away from an impartial judicial institution into one that is explicitly political, and one that will serve Progressive goals. Regardless of what the Constitution actually says.
It won’t take many Clinton appointments, either, to turn the Court into her completely political institution. Four of the existing Justices already are political judges rather than judges who uphold the Constitution. Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg have said they consider the Constitution to be a living document that lives through “updating” reinterpretations to fit their views of the times—Article V and We the People be damned. Ginsburg has gone even farther, deliberately entering the political fray and publicly stating her views of the unfitness of one of the current Presidential candidates, thereby prejudicing in advance her decisions on any case in which that President’s administration might become involved. Justice Sonya Sotomayor has said the Court benefits from her “wise Latina” and empathetic talents—again, a political position and not a legal one. Justice Elena Kagan has said that a judge’s personal values must guide the judge’s development of her opinion, not solely what the Constitution says—still another political, rather than legal, position.
Elections have consequences, and this one’s will last far longer than just the term of one administration.
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