In the United States, Republican presidents had more opportunities to appoint Supreme Court justices than Democratic presidents. Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden appointed only one or two Supreme Court Justices, but Ronald Reagan appointed three, and Donald Trump and Richard Nixon appointed three and four Supreme Court Justices, respectively, during their four-year terms.
Among Republican presidents, Trump is famous for his high batting average. Justices appointed by other presidents with the expectation that they would embody conservative values often stood in the middle or aligned with progressive justices when making rulings, but the three appointed by Trump were different. Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, who were controversial for their clear conservative tendencies from the time they were nominated, lived up to expectations and clearly tilted the Federal Supreme Court, which consists of nine justices, towards conservatives.
The highlight case that occurred at the Supreme Court after joining the Trump Justices was the ruling abolishing the right to abortion in June of last year. When the ‘Roe v. Wade’ decision, which first guaranteed abortion rights, was issued in 1973, three of the seven people who supported it were none other than Supreme Court justices appointed by Nixon, a Republican. In 1992, when the Supreme Court again dealt with the issue of the right to abortion, the right to abortion survived as two of the three justices appointed by Reagan stood on the side of ‘preserving’ the right to abortion. However, in last year’s trial, none of the Trump justices supported the abolition of abortion rights without leaving, fulfilling the long-awaited wish of conservatives.
On the day this ruling was announced, Trump said, “I have accomplished what other presidents have failed to do. “Along with the three Supreme Court Justices I appointed,” he said, highlighting his achievements. This was a well-founded boast. Trump ran for president in 2016 and said, “If elected, I will protect the life of the fetus.” “All we have to do is appoint two or three people who will make such (abortion ban) rulings to the Supreme Court, but for that to happen, you have to elect me as president,” he said, sniping at his conservative votes. In the United States, Trump was the first presidential candidate to announce that he would appoint a Supreme Court justice who would rule on a specific issue with a specific conclusion.
In fact, Trump successfully implemented this declaration to the nation that he would ‘use the judiciary for politics’. The conservative-leaning Supreme Court repeatedly neutralized Biden’s major policies, including gun control, preferential treatment for racial minorities, and student loan debt exemption. In the conservative camp, many say, “If nothing else, Trump’s greatest achievement was to ‘fool’ the three Supreme Court justices on our side.”
However, now, a year before the presidential election, the abolition of abortion rights, which Trump has promoted as a “judicial achievement,” has become his biggest Achilles heel. This is because the state government was able to decide on its own whether to allow abortion, uniting pro-abortion voters, including women. In particular, public opinion is fluctuating in battleground states where the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are closely contested or in areas where Republican support is strong. In traditionally Democratic states, there is less of a sense of crisis because the state government will continue to protect the right to abortion, but in ‘Republican states’ abortion is on the verge of being banned.
Recently, each state has been holding referendums on abortion-related bills, and in Michigan, a representative battleground state, as well as Ohio, Montana, Kansas, and Kentucky, which are Republican strongholds, bills allowing abortion have been passed one after another, while bills restricting abortion have been put on hold. Governors and state Supreme Court justices who ran for office to ban abortion are also suffering one after another.
According to the results of a September poll conducted by the Washington Post (WP) and NBC Broadcasting, 64% of respondents opposed the Supreme Court’s ruling to abolish abortion rights. Only 30% approved. The Supreme Court justices decided to abolish abortion rights by a vote of 6 to 3, but public opinion is the exact opposite. Trump succeeded in artificially shifting the balance of the Supreme Court and resulting in a ruling that differed from the public opinion, but he had to pay the price in next year’s presidential election.
As part of their presidential election strategy, the Democratic Party is focusing on the fact that Trump played a key role in appointing three ‘anti-abortion’ Supreme Court justices. The biggest factor that helped the Democratic Party maintain its Senate majority in the midterm elections last November was the absorption of moderates who opposed the abolition of abortion rights, and it is expected that a similar effect will be had in next year’s presidential election. Biden, who rarely brought up Trump in public, also said at a political fundraising event on the 14th (local time), “The only reason abortion is banned in the United States is because of Trump. “A person like that should not become president,” he said.
Of course, Trump is not someone who will be easily swayed by backlash. He criticized Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a rival presidential candidate in his party, for recently signing a bill banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, calling it a “terrible decision,” and is trying to shed the label of a “leading figure in banning abortion.” It remains to be seen whether abortion votes will turn directly to Biden. However, it is clear that the ruling to abolish abortion rights, which suited Trump’s tastes, plunged the Republican Party into a swamp and provided hope for the Democratic Party.
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.