Remembering how important Supreme Court appointments were to Donald Trump’s victory

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-life Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Ks.) Photo: Lisa Andrusko

Elsewhere at NRL News Today, we’ve posted two speeches (here and here) from a Friday general session titled, “Saving Lives Means Saving the House and Senate in 2018.”

How ironic/telling that just as NRLC President Carol Tobias and Political Director Karen Cross were reinforcing the incredible importance of holding the Senate so as to maintain President Trump’s ability to nominate strict constructionists to the Supreme Court, a liberal, pro-abortion outlet ran a story with this telling headline: “Polling data shows Republicans turned out for Trump in 2016 because of the Supreme Court: They’re about to get exactly what they want.” (We already got exactly what we wanted with the nomination of Justice Gorsuch. Jane Coaston is talking about Justice Kennedy’s replacement.)

Before getting to Coaston’s story, a few additional observations from a great panel at the 2018 National Right to Life Convention. Pro-life Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Ks.) reminded us all of the unhappy prospects should Democrats win the House—a Speaker Nancy Pelosi—and/or the Senate—a Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Contrast that, Yoder, explained with what’s been accomplished when the House, Senate, and Presidency are in pro-life hands. “Wow, that has really paid off,” he said.

Yoder also gave his audience a moment to consider what would have happened had a President Hillary Clinton had the chance in her first two years to appoint two justices to the Supreme Court. That would be a 6-3 pro-abortion High Court that could take a generation to overcome.

Like all speakers, Rep. Yoder warned the attendees that there is nothing pro-abortionist will not do to thwart confirmation of a strict constructionist to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy. “Frankly, now the real work begins,” he said.

Back to Jane Coaston of Vox. Pro-lifers know how important were then candidate Trump’s pledges to nominate jurists in the mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia in energizing pro-lifers and/or conservatives. Coaston offers chapter and verse (and graphics) to reinforce that point.

“One of the most underappreciated reasons [although not to us] that Donald Trump won the 2016 election was voters motivated by a vacancy on the Supreme Court,” she writes. “One in five voters told CNN in an exit poll that the Supreme Court was one reason they had cast a ballot. Of the voters who said it was the ‘most important factor’ in their decision, 56 percent voted for Trump. According to the Washington Post, 26 percent of all Trump voters polled said that the Supreme Court was the basis of their decision.”

As we wrote just after the election in “The critical importance of the Supreme Court to Donald Trump’s victory,” the CNN exit poll was hugely revealing. Over one-fifth (21%) of all voters said appointments to the Supreme Court was the most important favor in their vote. They broke 56% to 41% for Trump.

As many, including us, pointed out, we can’t know how many of those people would have voted for their respective candidates anyway.

But you could say that about any issue. So it is important that we not dismiss a 15 point differential on the issue of the Supreme Court. That was huge, even more so, perhaps, in Midwestern states where Trump won very narrowly.

Roger Severino, Director of the Office of Civil Rights at HHS Photo: Lisa Andrusko

Clearly, pro-life people listened to pro-life organizations such as National Right to Life, and zeroed in on the High Court. And, as I argued over and over in 2016, the significance of Donald Trump’s opposition to late-term abortion, expressed in the third debate, cannot be overstated.

When he outlined in vivid detail what Hillary Clinton supported (as Mrs. Tobias noted this morning), you could almost sense a collective gasp among all those many, many tens of millions of Americans who know very little about the hideous reality of abortion.

As we have observed more than once, there were pro-lifers who had their doubts about Donald Trump. But reassured by what we wrote and (far more importantly) by what the now President-elect said, they “came home.”

Now, as Roger Severino, Director of the Office of Civil Rights at HHS, said Thursday night, Trump is already the most pro-life President in American history. His track record of accomplishments is proof-positive that all we did to defeat Hillary Clinton was worth it times ten.