Future of the United States Supreme Court


Since the American people’s decision to elect Donald J. Trump became final, many have expressed concern for what that may mean for women’s rights, affordable care, marriage equality, and issues surrounding immigration in the coming years. Because the United States functions as a democracy, the President only has so much of an impact over American policies. However, in a situation where the majority of government branches begin to favor one political party, the potential impact on the country’s policies multiply.

The United States Supreme Court is the highest in the country, taking judicial precedence over all other American courts. It is a citizens last chance for justice. It is the organization responsible for each branch of government remaining aware of its limits and power. It has the ability to “strike down” laws violating the constitution. As a whole, the Supreme Court “serves to ensure that the changing views of a majority do not undermine the fundamental values common to all Americans,” for example, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and due process of law.

After the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia, a strong conservative, early last year, a spot opened for a new member to be committed. This was a major talking point throughout the 2016 election; the idea of a possible democratic/conservative court forming. Currently, the eight members of the court are divided equally in respect to their associated party; four liberal, four conservative. Yet the recent nomination to commit Neil Gorsuch as the ninth member and fifth conservative could be the first step in the formation of a conservative Supreme Court. With three Justices at the age of 78, 80, and 83, President Trump could feasibly be put in a position to nominate four total members during his term. If he continues to commit the more conservative nominees, it expands his capabilities as the leader of the free world.

In 1973, a case known as Roe Vs. Wade was brought to the Supreme Court. Its conclusion gave women the right to choose between continuing or terminating a pregnancy due to the 14th amendment’s right to privacy. Over the past forty years, that case has been retried over and over, but the court continues to stay parallel with its original decision. Trumps strong pro-life views accompanied by a conservative-court could lead women back into “the days of back alley, illegal abortions.” This will be a major health risk to women all over the US. To overturn this case would not lead to the end of abortions, but instead will remove the highly experienced and educated doctors from the equation.

The question of whether or not Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) will remain in place post election has hovered over many American heads throughout 2016. With Trumps nomination it is likely that we see this plan be removed. This allows insurance companies to increase coverage based on gender, policies regarding paid maternity/parental leave will change, and basic healthcare to given to those who can not afford it will be lost. Trump promised that his resolution to the topic will include, “insurance for all” and will be much more effective. This seems to be more of a change that America is uncomfortable with and scared to face, rather than a simple mitigation of affordable medical care that will leave the US in panic.

Most believe, because of Trump’s comments from the 2016 campaign along with some from his past, that he has set out to destroy the progress the LGBT community has made in the last decade and overturn the decision on same sex marriage. This is not true, and Trump has never once come out to say that. However, he does have more “old-fashioned” views toward relationships, and has not advertised his support for that community. Trump has made offensive comments, but has also stood in front of thousands and held the LGBT flag high. Most of the worry stems from the supporters being unaware of Trumps full intentions. 

Trumps strong views toward immigration have arguably been the most popular. He plans to enforce new policies that will deport thousands. Obviously this isn’t something unanimous in today’s world. With the progress made in various groups toward equality, Trump is seen as someone who stands for everything they do not – A “privileged, cisgendered white-male.” No one quite knows what to expect from the 45th president, but it is clear that a conservative party in his corner would be extremely beneficial. 

Regardless of party, democratic or republican, a bias Supreme Court of a world power is not a positive function. It is important when vetoing and passing laws that both sides of both parties are considered fairly. Without equal members (or close to it), this will never occur. This is going to be something American’s keep their eye on as the years pass. The worrisome arises with ignorance. There is almost too much fake news surrounding Trump to be certain what his real intentions are over many of these topics, however, he deserves a chance to develop his policies as the elected leader of the free world.