Many people I know in Florida told me they voted for President-Elect Trump because they believed he would appoint justices to the Supreme Court of the United States similar in philosophy to the late Justice Antonin Scalia. I don’t know if the courts ever played such a large role in a national election as they did this year, but one person I know anticipated that concern for the courts would significantly affect the election outcome – my PLF Atlantic Center colleague, Doug Kruse.
Writing for the James Madison Institute‘s Fall 2016 Journal, Doug predicted that the election could turn on whether Americans recognized the importance of the presidential election for the Supreme Court. In a piece titled, POTUS, SCOTUS & WOTUS: High Stakes for the High Court in Election 2016 (a particularly clever title if I do say so myself), Doug wrote:
If a conservative jurist takes Scalia’s place, the general thrust of the Court could remain essentially the same. However, if the next president appoints a liberal jurist, he or she could provide the necessary fifth vote for the left-wing to prevail on several key issues making their way up to the Court. This would dramatically alter the landscape of America—and be especially damaging to the cause of limited government.
Just so. It appears that millions placed their bets on Mr. Trump’s promise to appoint a justice in the mold of Justice Scalia to sustain the cause of limited government.
Let’s hope that the bet pays off.