The Supreme Court is on the ballot for 2016

Trump’s courtroom contenders could seriously jeopardize women’s and civil rights.

When voters go to the polls this November, they won’t just be choosing the next president, they’ll also be deciding the direction of the Supreme Court.

The fate of our rights and liberties as Americans—everything from voting rights, to immigration, to reproductive rights—rests with those nine critical individuals who sit on that bench. The outcome of the 2016 election will determine who nominates justices for lifetime appointments to the highest court in the land.

Looking at Trump’s track record of commitments and his list of courtroom contenders shows just how disastrous a Trump Supreme Court would be for everyday Americans.

Take women’s rights for example. Trump has made very clear he’s against the Roe v. Wade decision protecting women’s reproductive rights, saying it was a wrongly decided case. He also infamously called for “some form of punishment” for women who have abortions and has pledged to select anti-choice justices.

One of Trump’s potential picks for the Supreme Court, Judge William Pryor, even went so far as to call Roe v. Wade the “worst abomination in the history of constitutional law.” Considering the Court’s already weakened standard, a new anti-choice justice on the Supreme Court could significantly jeopardize past precedent.

The executive power to nominate justices is especially important to consider this election cycle given the possibility of multiple Supreme Court vacancies in the next president’s first term. A Trump presidency could put women’s reproductive rights in real danger.

On other issues disproportionately affecting women, like sexual harassment at work, a Trump Court would be just as perilous. Another one of the judges Trump mentioned as a possible nominee, Judge Steven Colloton, argued that a woman fired in retaliation for reporting sexual harassment at work shouldn’t have been able to take legal action.

The same trend follows in cases of civil rights, where Trump’s choices have shown that they’re more likely to rule in favor of the powerful and privileged.

Judge Pryor strongly opposed the ruling that said police must inform people of their Miranda rights when arrested. He was also the judge who argued, in a case about an African American employee being denied a promotion, that the man’s supervisor calling him “boy” was just “conversational” and had no bearing on promotion decisions.

And multiple judges on Trump’s list have upheld disenfranchising voter ID laws, which have an outsized impact on minority and low-income voters.

There are similarly foreboding examples across issues like environmental justice, workers’ rights, and big money in politics, among others that impact our day-to-day lives.

We need a Supreme Court that will defend the rights of everyday Americans instead of rolling them back. The justices our next president chooses should understand that the Constitution is for everyone, not just the rich and powerful.

This isn’t likely to be the case if the nominations are coming from Trump—a man who has said all his judges would be “picked by the Federalist Society,” an organization backed by the billionaire Koch brothers.

November 8 is “Judgment Day” for the future of the Supreme Court. Even if it’s not printed on our ballots, that’s the day voters will decide the direction of the nation’s highest court—for decades to come.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Marge Baker is the executive vice president of People For the American Way. Distributed by

2 Responses to The Supreme Court is on the ballot for 2016

  1. Ms. Baker should realize that “judgement day” occurred when the Clinton mob had the nomination bought and paid for long before the campaign began, leaving the citizenry with two equally rotten candidates. Voting for Clinton is to endorse a totally fraudulent political process.

  2. Six in one hand, half dozen in another. Killary (and her predecessor Barry ODroneman) have been jeoporadizing women and civil rights for several years. Job-killing trade pacts (including the odious TPP Killary browbeat nations into signing onto and Barry is trying to get signed before he leaves White House) imperil women causing more un- and underemployment which leads to not just economic but social ills. Broke women have no money for child care, no money to leave abusive relationships, no money to provide for children or to better themselves. Barry said he’d raise minimum wage to 9 bucks/hr; it’s almost time for the moving van on Penn Ave and women (who occupy over half of the minimum wage jobs) are still waiting (not that 9/hr will get anyone out of poverty). Killary’s platform does not focus on job creation nor the problem of stagnant wages. Civil rights? Next in line to be gutted by a Democrat administration – just like they out-gutted Bush/Cheney regime’s assault on the Constitution. Police shoot unarmed black person (they also shoot white but the white cop/black victim narrative serves the empire’s objectives better) every few weeks. Has the DOJ prosecuted ANY police for this? Whistleblowers are not safe under Obama and Killary has made no noise about them being safe under her either (she’s still calling for Snowde’s and Assange’s heads on platter). It’s been revealed the DNC rigged the primaries in Killary’s favor. Barry had TWO chances to appoint Supreme Court justices and chose milquetoast empire lackeys BOTH times. Does anyone with half a brain believe Killary’s choices will be any better? I am sick of this “disenfranchising voters” strawman. The bigger issue is what do voters get for their vote? All this focus on somebody being disenfranchised because they have to show ID to vote (they show ID to get SS card, Medicare, school registration, and for a host of other of life’s daily travails) is crap. You better be focusing on rigged elections, obstacles of third parties to getting on ballots and in debates, years of voting for one party or another and getting screwed in return, etc. Trump must be one scary mofo. The Right, Left, presstitutes, indy media, Santa, and everyone in between are in lock step agreement that the road to hell is paved by Trump and a 24/7/365 jihad must be waged to stop him. All the while, Killary and the Dems are running wild installing a fascist agenda no Republican – including Trump – could ever pull off.