The 2016 Election sets the course for the Supreme Court

by | Nov 11, 2016 | Courts | Comments

There has been a vacant seat on the Supreme Court since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February. Scalia began his service as a conservative justice in 1986 under the nomination of Ronald Reagan. However, the recent death of Scalia has left a relatively equal amount of active conservative and liberal justices. This caused a tremendous amount of controversy with the Presidential election. The winner of the 2016 presidential election has an immense impact on Supreme Court rulings down the road.

An empirical analysis done by David R. Stras and Ryan W. Scott of Harvard University show that the average tenure on the US Supreme Court reveals to be about 19.2 years. Assuming the results of this data analysis stay true, not only will the next President-elect Donald Trump be replacing Scalia, but also an additional 3 new justices. The new justices appointed to the Supreme Court will have to power to change the course of the very conflicts being discussed now. More than likely with this upcoming election, the Supreme Court might now has the potential to be dominated by one single party. With that being the case, the justices of the Court will have a more set control of the written constructional law and new precedents being set.

Trump has released a list of possible Supreme Court nominees. According to Alan Rapperport and Charlie Savage of the New York Times, Trumps’ selections consist of “six federal appeals court judges appointed by President George W. Bush and five state supreme court justices appointed by Republican governors.” On the other side of the election, there would have seemed to be more controversy with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and her choices for a new justice. According to Mike DeBonis of The Washington Post, Clinton was leaning more towards nominating Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals, Merrick Garland.  However, Clinton would have faced pressure from her party to nominate someone who is younger and more liberal than Garland is.

The 2016 election is going to benefit the Republican party in more ways than just the Presidency. Although the nominees are not required to nominate a justice based off of party affiliation, it would be shocking for Trump to desire a judge with opposing views, knowing that they would be responsible for all cases involving the laws of Congress as well.

photo credit: runJMrun United States Supreme Court Courtroom via photopin (license)