Wednesday was the last day of the Supreme Court’s session, and if you thought the Democrats were screaming and melting down like the Wicked Witch of the West at a water park, the final day brought a double whammy from which they may never recover.
First came the (of course) 5-4 ruling that government workers cannot be forced to contribute to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining. One analyst, asked to sum up the consequences for the Democratic Party in one word, chose “catastrophic.” Stephen Green of Instapundit says his sources estimate 20% of federal workers will opt out, which will mean a yuuuge money loss to government employee unions, and therefore to the Democrats whose reelections they support. The majority ruled that the forced fees violate the First Amendment freedom from compelled speech by requiring workers to support unions (and the political candidates they back) whose politics they disagree with. For instance, there are probably a lot of rank-and-file workers who support Trump, but who are being forced to give money to union leaders who use it to elect politicians who want to impeach him.
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The liberal minority lamented that the ruling “overthrows a decision entrenched in this Nation’s law — and its economic life — for over 40 years,” which is sort of like arguing that you shouldn’t get rid of slavery because it’s been around so long. Just because an unconstitutional wrong has been allowed to go on for four decades doesn’t mean it should go on indefinitely.
Several years ago on my radio show, I explained why so many blue states and cities within them had amassed crippling public debts and were facing bankruptcy. For decades, they’d engaged in an unsustainable cycle in which union bosses helped elect and reelect Democrats, who then held closed-door contract negotiations with the union bosses and signed sweetheart contracts and pension deals to be paid by the only party to the agreement who was never allowed at the table: the taxpayers. Over time, this resulted in some workers retiring after 20 years and living another 40 years on benefits so generous, they cost the taxpayers more than they did when they were actually working. The cost to cities was the equivalent of maintaining three police forces, fire departments, etc. It worked out great for union bosses and Democratic politicians, not so much for taxpayers and city officials facing budget crunches. With this latest Supreme Court ruling, one of the wheels just came off the gravy train.
The other devastating Supreme Court news for Democrats is that swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy announced that he is retiring as of July. That means President Trump will appoint his successor. If Senate Republicans are smart (yeah, I know), they will put aside their grandstanding and blocking and confirm that pick pronto.
While Kennedy has ruled with the conservatives in recent cases, he’s also been known to go off the reservation in strange and unpredictable ways. Trump has the chance to replace him with a solid Constitutionalist and impact SCOTUS decisions for generations (Kennedy has been on the Court since 1988!)
Democrats, especially celebrities, responded to the 1-2 punch with language that made Martin Scorsese’s “Mean Streets” sound like “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.” I expect them to try to block Trump’s SCOTUS nominee with any possible excuse: he can’t pick a Justice while he’s under investigation (and they’ll drag out the investigation for eight years if they have to); citing the Republicans’ refusal to vote on confirming Merrick Garland (irrelevant since Trump still has over two years to go in his first term); and the ever-popular “But he’s literally worse than HITLER!!!” They’ll make this an election issue to fire up their base with claims that Trump will appoint a racist, sexist Nazi who wants to ban Mexican restaurants and put the racially-diverse models from Benetton ads into concentration camps.
But the issue should also fire up the Republican base, which has lately seen the importance of having a Supreme Court that holds the line against leftist assaults on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They are thrilled at the recent wins, but they saw how narrow were some of the rulings (the Colorado bakery case) and how close the votes (5-4 on cases that should have been unanimous, such as finding that federal judges don’t have the right to usurp the President's power over national security measures based on subjectively divining his hidden intentions from tweets sent before he was even a candidate.) GOP voters have seen the conservative majority cite the law and the Constitution, while the liberal minority mostly cited emotions. Under those circumstances, 5-4 is much too close for comfort.
I'll also point out that in the ruling on Trump’s travel ban, the four liberal Justices seemingly wanted to establish an unconstitutional precedent that powers clearly granted to all Presidents should not be held by this particular President because…uh…”TRUUUUUUMP!!!” This is part of the wave of irrational responses to his election, such as refusing to recognize his legitimacy because he didn’t win the irrelevant popular vote; declaring themselves the “Resistance;” donning obscene knitted hats; living in a fantasy world where Trump would be impeached and Hillary would somehow take his place instead of Mike Pence; and threatening and harassing anyone associated with him. They suggested that he can't really be President because he's a crude, uncivilized racist (nope, that was Democratic Party grandfather Andrew Jackson) or a New York rich guy who wanted to put immigrants in concentration camps (Nope again, that was Franklin Roosevelt.) Yet despite their refusal to accept reality, he is indeed the President.
Some of the conservatives on the Court might hold Trump in low regard personally as well, but they at least know that their job is to protect the Constitution, not advance their personal political agendas. They recognize that all Presidents have certain powers, even ones whose employees can’t get service at a third-rate chicken restaurant run by childish liberals. It doesn’t matter if Beyonce won’t perform at his White House, or Robert DeNiro gets Tourette’s when he thinks about him. The only requirements for the job are being American-born, over 35 and winning a majority of Electoral votes. Check, check and check. Deal with it.
And now, Trump will exercise another power designated to duly-elected Presidents: he will nominate his second Supreme Court Justice and cement the conservative majority. To quote Robin Williams, "Reality: what a concept."