Imagine, for just a second, that in 2016 the result most people expected—and virtually all the experts predicted—happened, and Hillary Clinton was elected president.
It’s scary, I know, but today we’re seeing why every election matters so much. It’s hard to imagine what the long-term impact would have been had Trump not won that election and not spent four years filling a record number of vacancies in the judiciary. But we can certainly guess: Executive branch overreach would be condoned by the courts, paving the way for what would essentially be a dictatorial presidency. Everything that makes America what it is would crumble. Checks and balances? Forget it.
How do we know this? Because instead of four years of Hillary Clinton filling vacancies with liberal judges, we had Trump putting on originalist judges who have been standing in the way of Biden’s executive overreaches.
“What you’re seeing is that ‘pen and phone’ initiatives are running into legal trouble right off the bat,” Ilya Shapiro, the vice president and director of the libertarian Cato Institute’s Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies, told Fox News. “Trump appointed a lot of judges — more than anyone in one term [except] Jimmy Carter, for whom Congress created 152 new judgeships to fill — and these folks aren’t as deferential to executive power as past Republican-appointed judges might have been.”
That said, it’s still early, and many cases have yet to be decided. Some of the key rulings against Biden overreach could still be overturned. Also, some key issues have yet to be addressed, like Biden’s unilateral and unconstitutional rejoining of the Paris climate agreement and his intention to rejoin the Iran Nuclear deal. Still, Trump-appointed judges have been ruling against Biden on issues like immigration, COVID-19 relief, environmental issues, and more.
Tyler Olson at Fox News explains:
Most recently, Trump-appointed Judge Terry Doughty of the Western District of Louisiana implemented a nationwide injunction on the Biden administration’s “pause” on new oil and gas leases, saying that the president does not have the authority to overrule laws requiring the administration to sell those leases.
“Although there is certainly nothing wrong with performing a comprehensive review, there is a problem in ignoring acts of Congress while the review is being completed,” Doughty wrote in his opinion.
In another instance, former Trump Supreme Court shortlister Amul Thapar slapped an injunction on an element of the coronavirus stimulus law that used race and sex to prioritize which restaurant owners could get government aid.
“This case is about whether the government can allocate limited coronavirus relief funds based on the race and sex of the applicants. We hold that it cannot,” Thapar wrote.
“Because these race-neutral alternatives exist, the government’s use of race is unconstitutional,” he continued. “Aside from the existence of race-neutral alternatives, the government’s use of racial preferences is both overbroad and underinclusive.”
While there are plenty more cases, these examples truly underscore the importance of every election.
“President Trump’s judges have shown an unwavering commitment to the rule of law and the Constitution so it’s not surprising to see opinions reining in executive overreach from the Biden administration,” Carrie Severino, the president of the Judicial Crisis Network, told Fox News.
We don’t know yet whether Trump will run again in 2024, but one thing is for sure: With the help of Mitch McConnell, Trump secured a legacy that will last a generation. While the results of the election were unfortunate, we can at least take solace in the fact that there are a lot of judges appointed by Trump who won’t let Biden’s attempt to be a dictator go unchallenged.