Donald Trump appeared in Illinois on Saturday night to hold an event for Rep. Mary Miller, one of his supporters in his nomination, for the House of Representatives. It was as you'd expect, however the Dobbs decision of the Supreme Court, which overturned the constitutionally inexistent “right” to an abortion in the first place, was the focus of attention.
The former president stepped up to the podium for the opportunity to take a well-deserved victory lap before talking about the historic moment that the nation is going through. A chorus in the form of “thank you, Trump” came out, topping the speech at one point.
It is a joy to witness. Trump, even though he played a major part in bringing us to this point, was modest and did not take all the credit and applauded all those who have been praying and fighting for this result for decades. “Congratulations,” he told the crowd, mentioning the effort and numerous judiciary appointments that were needed to get this outcome.
Trump then praised those Supreme Court Justices who joined the majority in Dobbs and noted that they had to endure a relentless campaign of intimidation and threats of violence, including the attempted assassination attempt of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Trump also lamented the Democrat Party and the “two-tiered system of justice” which allowed for these threats to escalate without much, if any, pressure. The president then compared the outrage that erupted on the 6th of January to the shrugs of shoulders directed at the assaults against Supreme Court justices.
However, while Trump decided not to solely be focused on his personal part in the decision to have Roe upheld, I believe that he is deserving of the praise. I've seen some on both sides of the right (the typical suspects) trying to downplay Trump's role in naming the three justices that ultimately offered the votes needed to stop abortion as a federally protected “right.” Often, the arguments are based on “well, any Republican would have made those picks.” This is complete nonsense and the history of the case can be our guide in this issue.
Over the course of 50 years, a variety of Republican presidents were able to choose justices on the court that would uphold Roe and its equally absurd counterpart, Casey. In the last fifty years, they ignored an enormous portion of their selections. In order to put this in context, Republicans could have saved the lives of millions, years ago, but Anthony Kennedy (who authored Casey), Sandra Day O'Connor, David Souter, and John Roberts ended up put on the bench instead.
To make things even more difficult, the former president George W. Bush only chose Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote Dobbs' decision, following his attempt to place an abortionist known as Harriet Myers on the Supreme Court.
In short, I don't wish to hear that the thing Trump did was not a significant issue, or that any Republican could have done similar things. Other Republicans were given the chance to take the same action but they did not. Instead they let their supporters down repeatedly. Sure, Mitch McConnell deserves credit for preventing the confirmation process of the AG Merrick Garland and opening the path to Justice Neil Gorsuch, but it was Trump who was the key driving force behind the process. If not for his victory over Hillary Clinton and his willingness to accept the conservative justice movement, this would have been possible.