Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead at a west Texas ranch today. According to the article, “Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead of apparent natural causes Saturday on a luxury resort in West Texas.” Scalia was one of the most reliable judges in interpreting the Constitution as it was written. He was considered a strict constructionist justice.
By comparison, Justice Souter is considered a super-legislator, preferring to substitute his policy preferences ahead of the text of the legislation or the Constitution.
Almost immediately, praises came in from conservative politicians. One of the first politicians commenting was Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Gov. Abbott said “He was the solid rock who turned away so many attempts to depart from and distort the Constitution. We mourn his passing, and we pray that his successor on the Supreme Court will take his place as a champion for the written Constitution and the Rule of Law. Cecilia and I extend our deepest condolences to his family, and we will keep them in our thoughts and prayers.”
This will have an immediate impact on the presidential race and senatorial races, too. Here’s why:
U.S. District Judge Fred Biery said he was among those notified about Scalia’s death. “I was told it was this morning,” Biery said of Scalia’s death. “It happened on a ranch out near Marfa. As far as the details, I think it’s pretty vague right now as to how,” he said. “My reaction is it’s very unfortunate. It’s unfortunate with any death, and politically in the presidential cycle we’re in, my educated guess is nothing will happen before the next president is elected.”
Electing a Democrat or Donald Trump president would virtually guarantee a liberal court for the next 25 years. That means judges that rubberstamp executive overreaches. That means a nation ruled by judicial fiat rather than through the consent of the governed.
This isn’t speculation. That’s because liberal courts aren’t unprecedented. Liberals ruled the day in the 1960s and 1970s. That brought us Roe v. Wade and other exercises in judicial fiat. The Warren Court didn’t put a priority on studying and adhering to the Constitution as it was written. Roe v. Wade shouldn’t have happened. It should have been left to legislators and governors to decide. Instead, the Warren Court succumbed to political pressure and rendered one of the most controversial rulings in US history. That’s inevitable when liberals and progressives rule the judicial system.
Republicans gathering for tonight’s debate will surely be asked about this. It isn’t overreaction to say that this has the potential to tip the GOP race.