from the WSJ Bobby Jindal writes This Political Fight Will Go Many More Rounds
The political stakes are especially high when it comes to the judiciary. A president wins election thanks to voters in a few decisive states. He nominates a new Supreme Court justice, who is confirmed by the narrowest of margins in the Senate. That justice tips the balance in historic 5-4 decisions, covering everything from abortion restrictions, to the definition of marriage, to the need to prove intent in discrimination cases, to gun rights, to religious liberty.
Sweeping Supreme Court rulings can appear unpredictable to the public, and they often result in sudden rather than incremental change. When the court tries to settle society’s most pressing and personal issues, sidelining the branches of government directly accountable to voters, it leaves fewer opportunities for course corrections. Every election becomes the most important in our lifetimes, with stakes so high that any attack on a political opponent seems fair game.
Even if Mr. Trump retired quietly to Mar-a-Lago, a return to civility would be unlikely. That would require both parties to stop governing as if they represent a permanent majority, and instead to limit the power of their offices to what they would be comfortable with their opponents possessing. Lowering the stakes may be the only way to turn down the heat. Is that what the presidential aspirants of 2020 or 2024—from either party—seem to be doing?
Judge selection was a key reason many skeptics supported Trump over HRC. While we may have cheered many decisions made by the court that would never have made it through Congress, we have made that the focus of our voting. The result may be that liberals will become less activist on the court and more deferential to the states’ power. This is how shifts in history occur.
The ‘living and breathing’ constitution may have less appeal when Trump appointees hold the balance of power. Means matter.