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Is SCOTUS a Good Reason to Support Trump? Libertarian and Conservative Legal Experts Weigh In

What libertarian and conservative legal experts think about Trump.

Gage SkidmoreGage SkidmoreDonald Trump is hoping to pitch himself as the conservative legal movement's last best hope for securing the future of the U.S. Supreme Court. Trump says that if he's elected president he will name committed constitutionalists to the bench and will replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia with "a person of similar views and principles." He insists that non-liberals have "no choice" but to support him in order to prevent Hillary Clinton from packing the Court. Trump has even released a list of potential SCOTUS picks that's chock full of Federalist Society favorites and at least one libertarian legal hero.

But is that reason enough to support Trump in the 2016 election? I wanted to hear what the key players in the libertarian and conservative legal movements had to say about it, so I asked a group of them, including Alan Gura, the ace Second Amendment lawyer who argued and won District of Columbia v. Heller before the Supreme Court in 2008, Randy Barnett, one of the architects behind the 2012 legal challenge to Obamacare in NFIB v. Sebelius, Jonathan Adler, one of the architects behind the 2015 legal challenge to Obamacare in King v. Burwell, and Glenn Reynolds, the respected law professor who runs the popular political blog Instapundit.com. Their opinions range from denouncing Trump as "beyond the pale" to arguing that Trump's judicial appointments "would almost certainly be better" than those of Hillary Clinton. Here are their thoughts on whether the future of the Supreme Court is a good reason to support Donald Trump.

Jonathan Adler
Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University

The future of the Supreme Court is of tremendous importance, particularly given the number of likely retirements in the next several years. Concern for the Court, and lower federal courts, is often a good reason to ignore a Republican presidential candidate's other inadequacies. A sound court appointment far outweighs a few silly spending programs. Many say this justifies supporting Trump. Not me. Trump is beyond the pale and there's no guarantee Trump's nominees will be any good anyway.

Randy Barnett
Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory at Georgetown University and author of Our Republican Constitution

Despite my lack of confidence in his actually appointing the engaged judges that I would like—rather than judicial restraint judges—I think the Supreme Court may well be the only good reason to support Trump. Whether that reason outweighs all the other negatives is a much tougher judgment. I respect people who have reached either conclusion. And the rest of the campaign has yet to play out, so we don't know the full extent of the variables that will contribute to any such assessment.

Alan Gura
Attorney at Gura PLLC and adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University

Donald Trump has effectively identified the horrific prospect of Hillary Clinton appointing at least one and perhaps several Supreme Court justices, to say nothing of the lower courts. But shall we entrust that task to an insecure lunatic, a fascist caudillo, an autarkist, a proud ignoramous and conspiracy theorist, the aspiring leader of a "Workers' Party" who plays footsie with racists and anti-Semites and might well be a Russian agent? I have no illusions about what Hillary would do to the federal bench. Sad! But there is something deeply contradictory about the notion of electing a power-hungry strongman on the theory that he'll appoint judges that respect and enforce constitutional limits on government. Did Hugo Chavez appoint great judges? Did Putin, Mussolini, or Erdogan? Would it have mattered had they sort-of kinda suggested that they would?

As much as I care about the courts, worrying about jurisprudential doctrine is a luxury for people living under basically free and stable governments, for people who have access to food and toilet paper. And absolutely nothing in Trump's history suggests that he'd honor his proposed judge list or otherwise pick decent judges, while each of his proclamations indicates that the Supreme Court would be among the least of our concerns under his regime. True, the Trump gamble—that he'd be a figurehead who'd delegate authority to responsible people, or be resisted by the bureaucracy and media (or, laughably, by that stiffest-spined creature, the Republican Congress), while hewing to a judicial selection principle anathema to his personal brand—might pay off. Should Trump win, I'd at least delight in Hillary's loss, and fervently hope that he'd prove me wrong on every count. But I wouldn't bet my country on it.

Orin Kerr
Fred C. Stevenson Research Professor of Law at George Washington University

No, it's not a good reason. Judges are important, but the Constitution gives the president much greater powers elsewhere. The president controls the military, sets foreign policy, and controls federal law enforcement. Trump's statements about how he would exercise these executive powers are frightening. He expresses admiration for Vladimir Putin. He advocates war crimes. He wants to use presidential powers to go after his critics. He sees limited government as for the weak and "politically correct." Even if we assume that Trump Supreme Court nominees would be somewhat better than Clinton Supreme Court nominees, the damage that Trump would do to constitutional governance and the rule of law directly through the executive branch greatly outweighs any positive impact on the courts. And I think it's hard to say who Trump would actually nominate to the Supreme Court. He has a list, but there's no reason to think he would follow it.

David Kopel
Research Director at the Independence Institute

We know from experience that Hillary Clinton's appointments to the Supreme Court, and to the federal appellate courts, would generally be hostile to constitutional limits on government, including federalism and the separation of powers. That record is clear enough from her husband's appointments. On the whole, her nominations would probably be worse than his, since there is now a powerful Marxist wing of her party which she will need to placate. Although Clinton is a woman of few enduring convictions, one principle to which she had adhered throughout her long public career is implacable enmity to the Second Amendment. She would very likely impose an anti-Second Amendment litmus test for all of her appellate court appointments.

Donald Trump's appointments would almost certainly be better. We would not expect him to devote the same attention to the issue as would a constitutionally minded person, such as Ted Cruz. However, I believe that Trump's nomination for the Scalia vacancy would be drawn from the list of 16 which he has made public. More generally, there is a good chance that he would view judicial appointments as a necessary means of maintaining a good relationship with the significant fraction of the conservative base that does care deeply about the issue. I expect that Senator Jefferson Sessions would exert strong influence on judicial appointments, which would be salutary.

Roger Pilon
Director of Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute

Assuming Trump were to follow through on his list of possible Supreme Court nominees, that would be a reason to support him, but there are countervailing reasons to oppose him that are, I believe, far more important. The Court will correct itself in time, I hope, but it is the character of the Republican Party and, more broadly and crucially, of our very nation that is at stake in this election. Hillary Clinton is a deeply flawed candidate, to be sure, but the election of Donald Trump would so defile the party of Lincoln and America itself that it must be resisted. He is an aberration that we must get past, and quickly.

Michael B. Rappaport
Director of the Center for the Study of Constitutional Originalism at the University of San Diego School of Law

I certainly believe that the future of the Supreme Court is "a reason" to support Trump. There are no assurances, but I do believe it is likely that he will choose someone from the list he issued previously (or someone similar). Is it strong enough reason to overcome the other reasons not to vote for him?

To me, it depends on one's perspective. If one is simply voting for the candidate whose views are closest to your own, then most libertarians will vote for Gary Johnson. Trump's Supreme Court appointments are unlikely to affect that.

But if you are (for some reason) choosing between Trump and Clinton, then Trump's likely appointments are important. Both Trump and Clinton are so flawed that any significant chance that one of them will do something good is pretty important. So I would say that if one is choosing between Trump and Clinton, then Trump's likely appointments are a strong reason for preferring him. Of course, that strong reason might be outweighed by other considerations, depending on your views of the two candidates.

Glenn Reynolds
Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and proprietor of Instapundit.com

The future of the Supreme Court under Hillary is clearly dreadful: appointees would be to the left of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and probably corrupt to boot. Under Trump it's unclear: His list of potential appointees actually looked pretty good, but with Trump you never know what he'll actually do. So I'd say it's a choice between certainly awful, and possibly awful.

Timothy Sandefur
Author of The Conscience of the Constitution

There is no basis for believing that Donald Trump will make better picks for the Supreme Court than Hillary Clinton will. While Trump has released what he claims is a list of judges he'd consider for nomination, there's no reason in the world to think he'd actually stick to it. It's a pie-crust promise, easily made, easily broken. Nor does it show that he has any idea what he's doing. One could easily make that list by simply scrolling through the Federalist Society's website for 10 minutes. Trump is ignorant of virtually all of the critical legal disputes of the day, and has no idea which judges are best positioned to resolve those disputes (except that he doesn't want "Mexican" judges). Nor is Trump pro-liberty when it comes to the Supreme Court. He's enthusiastically praised the infamous Kelo eminent domain decision, for instance—a decision the Republican Party once claimed to despise. So no, there's no reason to think Trump will make good judicial picks. And there's also no reason to assume that anyone Clinton would name would be a disaster. Her husband nominated Ginsburg and Breyer, who are certainly not a libertarian's dream, but are highly competent justices and have been on the right side on many important cases. In fact, the best strategy at this point would be to confirm Judge Garland, because he's very likely to be better than anyone that either Trump or Clinton would nominate. In fact, Americans would be better off—as usual—if the White House and Congress were in the hands of different parties, so that nominees would have to clear both hurdles.

Carrie Severino
Chief Counsel and Policy Director of the Judicial Crisis Network

Hillary has basically promised to nominate justices who would gut the First and Second Amendments. She would create the most prolonged period of judicial lawlessness since the Warren era.

Trump, on the other hand, continues to reiterate his interest in nominating justices like Scalia and Thomas, and his list of potential nominees was widely praised by conservatives. If there is a non-zero chance that he keeps his promise, it is hard to see how Hillary is a better choice.

Many of the people who will vote in this election were not even born when Justice Kennedy, the swing justice, was appointed. So you're not just voting for a president, you are voting on the trajectory of the Court for the next several decades.

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  • SIV||

    The TDS is strong in this post. The usual TRUMP IS LYING! when he actually sounds good on something.

    We know who William Weld wants; Merrick Garlands and Steven Breyers. The LP ticket is no better than Hitlery on judicial appointments.

  • Domestic Dissident||

    Carrie Severino gave the best response. The first sentence says it all.

  • geotarian||

    I agree

  • John||

    When Trump says something they don't like, he means it literally and can be taken at his word to do it to the Nth degree. When Trump backs off about anything at all, he is just an entertainer who doesn't mean anything. When Trump says something they do like, he is lying to cover his secret Democratic and socialist plans.

    I wish these people would realize how ridiculous they sound to anyone not suffering from TDS. I love how Trump is a secret Dem who is going to appoint the same kind of justices Hillary would, yet no Democrat in the entire country sees it that way. Funny that.

  • cineminded||

    The idea here is that Trump would continue using Supreme Court picks as a negotiation tactic.

    Now: vote for me or else bad SCOTUS picks.

    Later: support my agenda or else bad SCOTUS picks. "By the way, I can go to the Democrats to get votes. Maybe they would like a say on the next SCOTUS."

    In other words, once you decide to let Trump own you because of SCOTUS, he owns you and the GOP forever. You have completely lost the negotiation. He owns you completely. If you threaten to withhold support or badmouth him in the press, so what? He has no loyalty.

    Face it, he's checkmated the GOP. They will have to do whatever he says or else suffer liberal justices. This includes increasing executive power, and using it to effectively diminish the First Amendment. He's not exactly a pro-First Amendment fellow, is he?

  • Eric Bana||

    I love how Trump is a secret Dem who is going to appoint the same kind of justices Hillary would, yet no Democrat in the entire country sees it that way.

    Partisans for the two major parties always think their candidates are diametrically opposite when they're usually very similar.

  • WTF||

    Trump may or may not appoint judges that will ass-fuck the constitution. Hillary has guaranteed that she will appoint judges that will ass-fuck the constitution.

    Therefore, Trump is worse. QED.

  • ||

    Yep.

    I just saw Cankles on teevee claiming that Director Comey said she answered all of his questions truthfully with regards to her emails while SOS.

    She has made it clear that she wants to eviscerate the Bill of Rights, in particular the first and second A's.

    But Trump is the liar. Trump is the one who doesnt respect the constitution.

  • Wizard4169||

    Hillary has publicly vowed to appoint only justices who promise to gut the 1A. (Yeah, they'll almost certainly suck on the 2A, as well.) Since this is consistent with her words and actions for the past couple of decades, I tend to believe her, despite her long record of saying things that are not strictly true.

    Trump has made a few encouraging noises about appointing constitutional-minded judges, but I find it hard to believe him. Why? Maybe because he's made many statements suggesting he intends to wipe his ass with the BoR. (Ban Muslims! More torture! "Close up" the internet! Make it easier to sue people who say mean things about me!) So while it's at least theoretically possible he might make good appointments, I'm less than optimistic.

    Conclusion: neither Trump nor Hillary has any respect for either truth or the Constitution. I will not vote for either of them.

  • Rod Flash||

    Will Supreme Court picks matter to a glowing slag heap?

  • The Fusionist||

    I think Hillary *does* think it matters.

  • Bruce D||

    Hillary will generate the glowing slag heap more than Trump. Hillary wants to expand NATO and get tough with the Russians whereas Trump wants to strike deals with them. Hillary and Putin don't like each other, bad chemistry. Hillary's likened Putin's actions to Hitlers, gotten into shouting matches with Russian officials over LGBT rights ( I support LGBT rights but getting into a shouting match would only inflame those officials who would take it out on the poor Russian LGBTs). Hillary is very forceful and self-righteous...way self-righteous... fancies herself a feminist...fancies herself. Whereas Putin's a macho dude.

    With the new Cold War tensions Hillary would create, minor incidents would be magnified. Hillary would have to show Putin who's boss, and pretty soon the nukes would be flying just so Hillary could prove she's tough as any man.

    People elevate Trump's style over Hillary's substance. Trump couldn't just launch nukes on a whim. He'd have to go through any number of generals. Any of those generals could countermand the order, contact the Speaker of the House and say that the president gave a bat-shit crazy illegal order and should be impeached for high crimes.

    Hillary, on the other hand, would publicly set in course policies, with approval of the neo-conservatives, that could easily set the U.S. on an inevitable collision course with the Russians that no general could countermand.

  • John||

    imothy Sandefur
    Vice President for Litigation at the Goldwater Institute and author of The Conscience of the Constitution

    There is no basis for believing that Donald Trump will make better picks for the Supreme Court than Hillary Clinton will.

    That is absurd. Why would Trump, who is anything but a political activist obsessed with the court choose to spend political capital fighting with his own party in Congress to get a liberal justice through? If he is elected, Trump will have been elected to do other things. There is no reason at all to think he would want to spend political capital putting a liberal justice to replace Scalia. Moreover, appointing a real conservative would do a lot to cut the legs out from under his opposition within the Republican party.

    When people say things like Sandefur says here, it just tells me they are more interested in protecting their friends in the Washington political guild than giving an honest opinion about Trump.

  • R C Dean||

    Pretty much this.

    This election is just a big, months-long festival of confirmation bias.

    I think Trump is bad, so every bad thing he says is gospel,and every good thing he says is a lie.

    Trump has actually told us who is on his short list. They aren't great (from my perspective), but they could be a hell of a lot worse. But we'll just ignore that, because TRUMPITLER! It couldn't be more blatant; only a couple of the commenters based their comment on what he has said - the rest either ignored it, or threw it away because TRUMPITLER!

  • Diane Merriam||

    Liberal isn't the only way to gut the Constitution. Republicrats and Democans are two sides of the same authoritarian coin. They only differ in which aspects of our lives they're more interested in controlling at any given time (and not even reliably consistent in that).

  • Wizard4169||

    I don't believe Trump will deliberately set out to appoint a "liberal" justice, I just don't trust that he will appoint a consistent constitutionalist. I mean, jeeze, it's not like even supposedly committed conservatives have a great record. I figure we're more likely to get another John "penaltax" Roberts who will bend over backwards to rubber-stamp anything that can get through congress.

    I'll agree that Hillary is virtually certain to nominate horrible justices, while it's at least theoretically possible that the Donald might give us someone worthwhile. So, if I had to pick between the two, I'd go Trump. Better to play Russian roulette with a revolver with one unloaded chamber than a machine gun, after all. Lucky for me, I don't live in Hypotheticaland, so I don't have to choose either one. Sure, one of these human trash fires will probably end up in the Oval Office, but at least I won't feel any guilt for putting them there.

  • CE||

    We're more likely to get another Scalia who will lick the boot of government power, except without the conservative restraint in other areas.

  • ||

    Oh no! The people I previously respected have a different opinion than I do! Cosmo Cucks!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The Court will correct itself in time, I hope...

    Hope is in short supply these days.

  • John||

    What reason is there to think that it would "correct itself in time"? Of all of the dumb things said in this article that one might be the most stupid. Will Kagan or Sotomayor suddenly see the light and become Libertarian leaning conservatives? I mean just because no left leaning justice in history has ever done that, doesn't mean it can't happen with them, right?

    The fact that these guys are so unwilling to admit the obvious, that Trump would almost certainly appoint better justices than Hillary, just tells me that it is a reason to vote for him over Hillary and these guys know it but can't admit it because TRUMP!! So they say amazingly stupid things like "the court will correct itself".

  • DarrenM||

    The SCOTUS has been "correcting" itself for decades. It should be there any time. Actually, even if this were true, we're talking about 20 or 30 years. Trump would be in office no more than 4 years (8 tops), unless some other Lee Harvey Oswald wannabe get anxious.

  • Robert||

    Regression to the mean, I guess.

  • CE||

    Sotomayor has opposed police power in some instances. Kagan, eh.

  • Ceci n'est pas un woodchipper||

    As one of my professors used to say, hope is not a strategy.

    Also, while the court might correct itself in time, last I checked the longest period of time a president could hold office is eight years. Compare that to the length of time an SC justice holds office, and tell me which position would correct itself sooner.

  • CE||

    Hope is not a strategy, but it was an effective campaign slogan.

  • kevrob||

    A person can serve more, if, as VP, he finishes less than half of the deceased, resigned or dismissed-by-an-impeachment-conviction President's term. Add two terms if he is elected and re-elected in his own right. LBJ could have run again in 1968, but had the good sense not to when it became obvious he'd have a nomination fight on his hands. He could have been in almost 10 years.

  • John||

    The other thing to remember is that not only is Scalia gone, but Kennedy, the notorious RBG and likely Thomas will retire in the next four years. So if Hillary wins, she will get three shots at appointing a justice to reverse Citizens United and Heller and effectively repeal the first two amendments of the constitution.

    Hey, I am sure the court will correct itself eventually. And I am sure the Republican Senate will stand up to Hillary and keep her from doing that. I means just because they never have done that in the past doesn't mean they won't magically do it now. And besides, Trump said something mean about Mexicans and we shouldn't let things like the Supreme Court flipping and writing out the first two amendments of the BOR get in the way of us considering the really important issues.

    That about covers what msot of these guys had to say.

  • ||

    So basically, in less than 4 years we could have a President ruling by executive fiat, a congress which already will do nothing to protect the constitutional rights of Americans, and a SCOTUS who will rubber stamp anything the executive does. Libertarian moment, comrades.

  • John||

    Yes we could. And these assholes refuse to do anything to stop it because Trump isn't one of them and he offended their delicate feelings. These people are pathetic.

  • ||

    I'm not disagreeing with you, but I will raise the point that Trump does nothing to fill me with hope on this matter. If he wins, it will likely be the Senate Republicans running the process and I think we get more John Roberts, which is just a slower loss.

  • Knarf the Yenrab||

    Even if all a Trump presidency did was to delay a civil war for another 20 years with a host of squishy justices, that would be well worth it. Something to be said for a slow decline while we cross our fingers and hope for a technological or political development rather than just go straight for Venezuela territory.

  • Bruce D||

    "...go straight for Venezuela territory."

    Chile territory - Allende then Pinochet.

  • John||

    That is a fair point. I don't think it is a big issue for him. I think he will give the Senate Republicans whomever they want. That of course is hardly perfect, as you point out. It should however save Citizens United and Heller and that is a very big deal

  • Ribaldish||

    because Trump isn't one of them and he offended their delicate feelings

    Right, because identity and butthurt are the only reasons that could conceivably keep a libertarian from supporting Trump.

    Fucking Red Tony.

  • Knarf the Yenrab||

    Thomas is only 68, so i doubt he's going anywhere as long as there's breath in his body and a D in the White House. The other two are in their 80s and are as good as gone in the next couple of terms.

    It's staggering how many of the talking heads take a blase attitude toward the prospect of a Stalin-run Supreme Court, as though gutting the First and Second Amendments would not lead plenty of people to say fuck it and support outright nullification or the states-sponsored Constitutional convention that has been kicked around for the past few years.

  • John||

    Thomas wants to retire. He almost retired last year. Thomas is tired of being a justice. I am not sure that appeals to just four more years will do it. It might but I doubt it.

    Kennedy is in his 80s and likely won't live four more years.

  • ||

    You'll recall he already said a couple years back in the insurance law dissention that the rule of law was dead in this country.

  • CE||

    Texas will secede.

  • R C Dean||

    Hey, I am sure the court will correct itself eventually.

    I'm quite sure it won't correct itself in my lifetime. And I have less than 100% confidence that our current "Constitutional Republic" will continue indefinitely, so the SCOTUS might not even be around long enough to correct itself.

  • DarrenM||

    And there is a good chance the Senate will go Democratic. Think about it.

  • mememine69||

    You want 8 MORE years of this thing YOU call "change"? WE are no longer "progressive"!

    Trump is the one and only new voice of rebellion and radicalism not conservatism so be a real progressive and vote to fight the system that you libs are now sadly all part of.
    Don't vote Republican, vote Trumplican for he is today's new 'progressive" progressive liberal.

    Remember this the next time you hissy fit hate Trump; He didn't kill Khan's son, another MUSLIM did!

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Let's do a little exercise. There's a sweet little "Gary Johnson" button at the top of the page. It returns sixteen articles for the past week, some of which only mention Johnson in passing.

    Sixteen articles on Trump get us back to Friday morning. Sixteen on Stein takes longer than both combined, there's only been sixteen articles mentioning Stein since July 21st.

    Do y'all want Johnson to be a serious candidate or not? There's, like, ONE commentator who waves a flag for Trump, and it doesn't really look like all y'alls pleas are convincing SIV any different.

    And let me be Obamishly clear here, this isn't some "oooh, equal access, equal time" argument. I'm asking whether a libertarian magazine is treating Trump and Hillary as the only binary options and serious candidates and occasionally throwing some bones to the third parties for the look of the thing, and then wondering why Americans don't take the third parties more seriously.

    Root, are you going to do a similar article for Johnson and/or Stein? I'm pretty sure they're serious candidates and that you have a readership full of people who want a serious third-party candidate. I'm not trying to rub your nose in it, I'm just askin' here.

  • Trump's Penis Logo, Jr.||

    Do y'all want Johnson to be a serious candidate or not? There's, like, ONE commentator who waves a flag for Trump, and it doesn't really look like all y'alls pleas are convincing SIV any different.

    And let me be Obamishly clear here, this isn't some "oooh, equal access, equal time" argument. I'm asking whether a libertarian magazine is treating Trump and Hillary as the only binary options and serious candidates and occasionally throwing some bones to the third parties for the look of the thing, and then wondering why Americans don't take the third parties more seriously.

    I count as many as five Trump voters in our commentariat, but that's my only very minor quibble with your awesome comment. Plus one, ma'am.

  • CE||

    Johnson gets a lot of press on Reason. I search for Gary Johnson on Google every day, and half the hits are on Reason.

  • ||

    Hillary has basically promised to nominate justices who would gut the First and Second Amendments

    This. Nothing else to say.

  • Alcibiades||

    The only positive here is that I understand, historically, SCOTUS is reluctant to revisit recent decisions and mostly defers to stare decisis.

  • WTF||

    Once the justices change, the attitude changes.

  • R C Dean||

    The jurisprudence on the 1A and 2A is so weak, when you study it, that they can be de facto repealed without formally overturning any precedents.

  • ||

    Your pet justice Thomas has already questioned stare decisis, saying that when the decision is not consistent with the original text it ought not to be respected, so you are the one that's advocating for an overturn of stare decisis.

  • kevrob||

    Stare decisis ought to be ignored in cases where previous decisions were decided in an egregiously incorrect manner. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen, else no Brown v Board of Ed nor others I could name.

    Doesn't anybody read Randy Barnett?

  • ||

    Because the Republican Congress will sign off on that? And if Hillary is elected, I forsee a Republican Congress her whole term anyway.

  • DarrenM||

    If Hillary is elected, it will probably be because people reject Trump. This will spill over to the down-ticket races and the Senate would be much more likely to turn Democratic, at least for 2 years, which would be enough time to do damage. And do you honestly think Democrats won't trash the filibuster for SCOTUS nominees with this opportunity?

  • ||

    It's exactly as you said, it will be because people REJECT TRUMP, not because they like Hillary or Democrats. With Trump out of the picture, I'm not sure it will be business as usual, but people who would have voted for Republican congressman will likely still do so. They're not going to all turn toward Dems with Hillary in office, people hate her about as much as they hate Trump. I forsee a Republican-dominated election in 2018 if Hillary is pres.

  • Wizard4169||

    True, this presidential race seems to be more about voting against the candidate you hate more, not about voting for someone you enthusiastically support. So yeah, a Hillary win is more a rejection of the Donald than an embrace of her. I'm afraid I'm not optimistic about people voting for Rep congresscritters anyway, though. I don't see many of them voting Dem, but I can see a lot of them just saying the hell with it and staying home. I'm not sure Hillary will exert quite as big a drag on down-ticket races, giving the donkeys an advantage. (Or at least a smaller handicap, same difference.)

    As for 2018, I likewise see a big backlash vote after two years of Her Shrillness. (I'd equally expect two years of His Yugeness to produce a big Dem resurgence.) I'm just worried about how much damage will be done in the meantime. Just look at the first two years of President Hope-n-Change...

  • ||

    I don't think so. Trump is far from a typical Republican. Plenty of congressional candidates are distancing themselves from what he's saying. So it could be people just skip over the presidential vote and do the rest of the ballot as usual.

  • Alcibiades||

    There are no good reasons to vote for either of these idiots.

    The potential damage each could inflict is incalculable.

    Not really a fan of Cruz but his "vote your conscience" is pretty good advice.

    I think we're gonna get this vile, corrupt, lying creature in the Whitehouse, with the only silver lining being she'll be so goddam awful she'll be out after one term.

    Meanwhile the GOP can use this as breather space to get their house in order (did I really just type that!).

  • John||

    After she has repealed the first two amendments of the BOR and set the president up to run by judicial fiat and made Congress into a debating society, who the fuck cares if she is a one term president? What difference would it make. And what possible reason is there to think the Republicans will get their act together. If Trump loses, the worst sorts of intervention supporting big government assholes will take the party back over. You really think a Republican party where shitheads like David French and Bill Kristol get to say I told you so and go back to running things is going to "put their house in order"? Fat chance.

    Fuck your conscience. Seriously, fuck it. Who the hell ever told you that life owed you good choices? No one gives a shit about your conscience. Cruz is a narcissistic asshole for claiming otherwise. The choices are what they are. People have gotten their heads blown off to ensure this country's continued existence. I really have no patience for people who can't bear to vote against their precious conscience to save the first two amendments of the constitution.

  • Alcibiades||

    Of the things my conscience speaks with great clarity, your opinion notwithstanding, are not voting for someone who proposes to torture in my name or murder the relatives of alleged terrorists.

    Compared to Trump's narcissistic preening, bullyboy, thin-skinned persona, Cruz comes off as a regular saint.

  • R C Dean||

    murder the relatives of alleged terrorists

    And here we see the insidious effectiveness of DemOp "flood the zone" memes.

    That's not what Trump said. That's what his enemies want you to believe he said. And here you are, believing it.

  • Alcibiades||

  • R C Dean||

    the insidious effectiveness of DemOp "flood the zone" memes

    Here's what he said:

    "It's a horrible thing. They're using them as shields. But we're fighting a very politically correct war. And the other thing is with the terrorists, you have to take out their families," he explained. "They, they care about their lives. Don't kid yourself. But they say they don't care about their lives. You have to take out their families."

    Cutting through the garble, what he says is that we can't hold off on killing terrorists because they use human shields, including their own families. I don't think he's ever said we should separately target their families, although the way he garbles, he makes it easy to (mis?)characterize what he says.

    http://www.politico.com/story/.....z4G698zg1o

  • Alcibiades||

    Direct quote from Trump:

    "The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families," Trump said on Fox News earlier this month. "They care about their lives, don't kid yourself. When they say they don't care about their lives, you have to take out their families."

    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....gsta-trump

  • R C Dean||

    Same quote as I used, but I used the full quote, putting it into a different context (human shields and PC ROE).

  • Alcibiades||

    That's some mighty fine parsing, many arrive at a different conclusion.

  • ||

    He's very clearly saying that their families should be targeted. This is said separately from not caring about them taking human shields. We should 1) Ignore that they use human shields and the other things is 2) Take out their families.

  • Lord Rollingpin||

    How gives a fuck, Barry has killed plenty of children, but do the democrat supporters give a shit.

  • NYer||

    "How gives a fuck, Barry has killed plenty of children, but do the democrat supporters give a shit"

    So because the Progressives lack any moral principles that means we should? I'm sorry but hasn't the biggest complaint about Libertarians on here been that they've compromised their principles by nominating two RINOs? And now libertarians are being told to ignore the unlibertarian things Trump advocates for because...."SHRILLARY!" What a crock of shit.

    I think the panic over Trump is overblown and often full of shit, but damn the defenses and excuses made for him are just as f-ing bad.

  • Bryan C||

    No, he's saying that terrorists are legit targets even if it means their families are collateral damage.

    Which is obviously true. To paraphrase Curtis LeMay, do you want to kill Islamic radicals, or would you rather have Americans killed?

    But on the chance you're right, I'm actually ok with killing terrorist's families. I'm ok with leveling, firebombing, and nuking entire cities, if necessary, so why would I be upset about more tightly targeted destruction?

    Those are all the sorts of things that are necessary in wars you actually intend to win.

  • Bruce D||

    "He's very clearly saying that their families should be targeted. "

    That's far from clear. He's not the most articulate person, but it makes sense that the context is taking out combatants and being prepared to taking out the families if they are in the way. He seems to be emphasizing not that he primarily wants to take out families but that he doesn't give a fuck if he does in the course of taking out "terrorists".

  • Diane Merriam||

    "the *other thing* is" is not a continuation of the previous sentences. It's a distinctly different statement. He wasn't saying they are using their families as human shields and we should not let that stop us. He explicitly said you have to take out their families as an offensive tactic, putting himself on the same moral level as terrorists.

  • MikeP2||

    meh. I just don't have a problem erasing the threat. If it means erasing their families, then so be it.

    Our culture is superior in a dozen different ways. yeh we have flaws, make mistakes, but we are at least 2 centuries beyond, in some areas 10 centuries, where the breeding grounds for these 'terrorists' are. I would love us to get out of there, ignore them, give them no reason to bother us, but that is not where we are right now. If anyone was proposing pulling out of the ME entirely, I'd support it fully. But...is that on the table? If the only other way to end the violence and conflict is to utterly erase their will to continue it, then so be it. erase them, their families, their culture. Half measures end up killing more people in the end. History proves this repeatedly.
    I'll apologize to my children and grandchildren for being a monster so that their world is a better place.

  • AblueSilkworm||

    It sounds like a choice between certain evil and likely evil. The thing is, while one can say, "fuck your conscience and vote for the lesser evil", what's the chance of your vote mattering any how? So you're doing something which you can't do in good conscience in order to have almost certainly no effect on the process whatsoever. What the hell kind of sense does that make?

  • FreeRadical||

    "Fuck your conscience", and do what you're told. Nice John.

    You think the 1st is safe with Trump? He wants to "open up libel laws" so that he has an easier go of silencing people that criticize him. Yeah, and Hillary wants the government to have the power to ban movies that criticize her. And John wets his pants about "saving" the 1st Amendment from only Hillary.

    The 2nd? Any serious attempt to destroy it will be met with huge disobedience and possible uprisings. I live in Texas, and there are a surprising number of vehicles with "SECEDE" stickers on them. That concept might get a little more traction if Hillary gets serious. You think Trump is your one and only savior? The American people still have some balls.

  • DarrenM||

    Try to think a little more long term. Either Trump or Clinton will most likely only be there for 4 years. What about 20 or 100 years from now? What events are likely to be brought about under Trump/Clinton that would affect the long term welfare of the country and the people? I know. You care only about what's in front of you and only how it affects you. It certainly does makes things a little simpler.

  • ||

    Fuck you, you condescending asshole. Don't tell us any view other than you own isn't "thinking long term".

  • ||

    Fuck you, you condescending asshole. Don't tell us any view other than you own isn't "thinking long term".

  • ||

    And the squirrels clearly agree.

  • Lord Rollingpin||

    They agree you are a maroon.

  • Bruce D||

    "The 2nd? Any serious attempt to destroy it will be met with huge disobedience and possible uprisings"

    It could get pretty ugly. Better to avoid it.

  • ||

    Fuck your demand that people go against their morals to appease you, John.

  • R C Dean||

    Meanwhile the GOP can use this as breather space to get their house in order (did I really just type that!).

    Like they have over the last 8 years?

    No, a Trump loss entrenches the establishment of that side of TEAM BE RULED. When you strike at the kingmakers and miss . . . .

  • CE||

    Vote for Johnson.

    The only wasted vote is a vote for Trump or Clinton.

  • The Fusionist||

    Who knows what Trump would do with the Court?

    My suspicion is that he will put his precious list in the round file after the election, and then try to polish his "moderate," "social liberal" credentials by nominating the kind of judge who is cosy with the establishment and receives endorsements from Democrats and Republicans. Like his sister, Maryanne Trump Barry.

    Not only did Judge Barry affirm a right to partial-birth abortions - there was a Supreme Court precedent for that, after all - she also added her own ruminations:

    "A woman seeking an abortion is plainly not seeking to give birth. . . . Establishing the cervix as the demarcation line between abortion and infanticide is nonsensical on its face. . . . While there are unquestionably numerous ethical, philosophical, and moral issues surrounding abortion, we are unpersuaded that these issues — or our legal analysis — should turn on where in the woman's body the fetus expires during an abortion."

    Bear in mind that in partial-birth abortion, part of the fetus is outside the mother and part stays inside. That is trivially irrelevant to Barry, an "irrational" distinction.

  • John||

    He might do that. I think it is more likely he gives the Republicans in Congress someone they want. His biggest problem going into office will be all the never Trump assholes in his own party. If he appoints a conservative Justice right off the bat, then what are they going to say? If he does what you say, then they all call him out as a secret Democrat and go after the support in his own party.

    It would make no sense to appoint a moderate to replace Scalia. To do that Trump would have to really care about it enough to want to spend a lot of political capital. I don't think he does. I think he will take the path of least resistance and build some good will with the Republicans in the Senate.

  • The Fusionist||

    Appointing Scalias and Alitos *requires* political capital.

    If it's not an issue Trump cares about, why would he bother, when he could just appoint an Anthony Kennedy or someone else recommended by his sister?

    I know that you think prolifers are useless hypocrites unworthy of support, and that Trump exposed their evilness, but having said that, you can hardly ask prolifers to accept Trump into their lives and expect him to promote their values.

  • cineminded||

    Appointing a Scalia is probably impossible. Trump is affecting the downticket races and the GOP can easily lose the Senate.

    This whole debate about who Trump may appoint may be moot. If the Senate goes blue, the Democrats will just let the SC shrink, rather than appoint perhaps even centrist judges like Garland. Certainly, they would have no compunctions about doing so after the precedent McConnell has set. Pandora's box.

  • The Fusionist||

    More likely Trump will work out a great, yuge deal with the Democrats, a deal you're gonna love, to appoint "moderate" judges who will "moderate" the constitution out of existence.

  • Bruce D||

    Garland a centrist? He'd overturn Heller and McDonald.

  • DarrenM||

    I don't think Trump thinks in terms of spending political capital. The main thing is that he's said he would nominate a particular type of justice with particular views. Sure, he could back out, but I tend to think that's unlikely. I just don't get the impression Trump cares about SCOTUS that much and will do mostly what he says he will in regard to it.

  • Wizard4169||

    When has Trump lifted a finger to "build some good will" with anyone? He's far more likely to bully Senate Reps into doing things his way. In the unlikely event they grow a collective pair and refuse to knuckle under, he'll just make an end run around them. Previous presidents, especially the last two, have set plenty of precedents for that.

  • Chip the Chipper||

    So basically we are fucked

  • ||

    This guy gets it.

  • Ceci n'est pas un woodchipper||

    Again, and I can't say this enough, Hillary Clinton is a known factor. A known, horrible, terrible, villainous factor. She has effectively said that she's going to attack the 1A and 2A. We have seen her in positions of power and seen that she has abused those positions repeatedly, not to mention made horrible decisions and stood by them without showing anything like the ability to correct or even acknowledge mistakes or missteps.

    Trump sucks. I get it. But saying that you don't know how bad Trump could be and therefore the better choice is Clinton is like refusing to step out of the way of an oncoming bus because you might get hit by a car in the other lane.

  • Eric Bana||

    Voting for Clinton would indeed be very stupid, and I don't get why a libertarian would support such a thing. Not voting for either Trump or Hillary is the best course of action. Fuck them both.

  • Ceci n'est pas un woodchipper||

    That's my deal. I'm voting for Johnson because I think this is an important opportunity to get the LP into the national spotlight, but I'm under no illusions that he'll win. Of the two, I'd greatly prefer a Trump presidency to a Clinton presidency, but neither of them are candidates I would actually vote for.

  • R C Dean||

    Of the four "top" candidates on offer, Johnson, for all his flaws, is easily the least bad. If I vote (which is questionable), that's who I'll vote for.

    Rank ordering the candidates:

    (1) Johnson
    (2) Trump
    (3) Stein
    (4) Hillary

    Its hard for me to imagine anyone in American politics that I would say is a worse choice than Hillary. There's a few, I suppose - the lunatic fringe. Maybe Pelosi or Reid?

  • ||

    I don't know about Stein. She and Sanders are both about as pie-in-the-sky, ignorant, and incompetent as Trump, but a lot more honest. With either of them, I foresee an inability to get things done through the political system as they don't understand it at all and are likely to surround themselves with similar people.

    Trump, while he's a know-nothing, is likely to surround himself with a greater ratio of "cynical-establishment" to "incompetent-idealist" than Sanders or Stein, making his regime's policy proposals at least a tad more likely to succeed than theirs; plus he'll be an R with an R congress as opposed to a D/R split.

    So Stein may just barely edge out Trump, similar to how Trump just barely edges out Hillary. But I'm voting for Johnson anyway, so the speculation is all moot.

  • Ceci n'est pas un woodchipper||

    I don't know a lot about Stein, but just based on speeches I've read she's a classic "watermelon", like a lot of the Greens and environmentalists. But like you say, she does strike me as sincere. As vile as I find her ideals, at least she has some.

  • Lord Rollingpin||

    'But like you say, she does strike me as sincere.'
    Hitler, Stalin and Mao were all sincere. That gets you nothing.

  • DarrenM||

    If you are not going to vote for Trump or Clinton, you should still vote. I just hope bumping the Libertarian Party a percent or two in the election results is worth the results of a Clinton Presidency, especially if the Senate turns Democratic. (A Republican Senate could at least force someone more 'moderate'.).

  • R C Dean||

    I'd like to see the Libertarian party, useless as it is, break 5% in this election.

    That's a swing percentage, a party that has to be courted.

  • Ceci n'est pas un woodchipper||

    I'm actually pretty optimistic about the LP going into this election. If Trump wins and the Reps give him the high hat, then they look ineffectual; if they embrace him, they look fickle and they annoy anti-Trump party membership. Either case, the LP is a natural destination for people leaving a weakened Team Red.

    On the other hand, if Trump loses, Clinton is going to be the least popular president in history. She's going to inspire a lot of people to become politically active, or to rethink their party membership. If Team Red manages to lose three elections in a row, are they still going to be the automatic destination of libertarians, or people of a libertarianish bent? I think at least some of those people are going to be well over the lesser of two evils voting strategy and will if not join the LP at least support Libertarian polticians.

    Regardless, my prediction is that Johnson gets enough votes to be relevant and we start seeing more Libertarian politicians at the local levels, and eventually maybe even some LP Congresscritters.

  • Diane Merriam||

    At this point, polls seem to indicate that he's pulling more votes away from Hillary than Trump. As much as a lot of the media try to portray Libertarians as Republican lite, the reality is that Libertarians are just as concerned, if not more so, about social issues as economic ones.

  • CE||

    Voting Libertarian won't help Clinton or Trump win. The outcome of the election is completely independent of your vote, regardless of which state you live in. Voting Libertarian will help increase the Libertarian Party vote total.

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    "I expect that Senator Jefferson Sessions would exert strong influence on judicial appointments, which would be salutary."

    Jeff Sessions?!?!?!? Oh my Lort.

  • DarrenM||

    There is no basis for believing that Donald Trump will make better picks for the Supreme Court than Hillary Clinton will.


    This is garbage. There is every reason to believe he'd make better picks. The biggest is that Trump will not be beholden to the Left for political support and have to consider their desires on this issue.


    I don't believe Trump is really interested in the SCOTUS and will nominate justices based on recommendations from his advisers and the Senate (or from his broker for all I know). We do not know what the composiiton of the Senate will look like next year. If it's a Democratic Senate and Hillary is President . . . Use your imagination. You might get close.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Observe the childishness of personality cultists. The Senile Court is appointed by the DemoGOP looter congress and does not bite the hand that feeds it. Like a parent who keeps a child or dog from running into traffic, SCOTUS immediately perceived the libertarian threat to its entrenched benefactors and responded with Roe v. Wade, then struck down porn and gay-baiting laws and generally labors to keep its idiot wards from being replaced by party dedicated to freedom, irrespective of which gang of looters makes the nominations. It's not like there is a great deal of difference among looters, but the LP is very different and must be ambushed at every pass.

  • Uncle Jay||

    RE: Is SCOTUS a Good Reason to Support Trump? Libertarian and Conservative Legal Experts Weigh In

    Of course the SCOTUS is a good reason to support Trump the Grump.
    He'll get some wonderful rubber stamp justices to follow his form of fascism in no time.
    The court is adjourned.

  • geotarian||

    I can't imagine Trump's appointments being worse than Hillary's, but the best reason to vote Trump is to shake up the GOP. After 50 years of slow walking with the democrats why would you think there is something worth saving? The Never Trump crowd will go back to business as usual. Party of Lincoln is long gone. Maybe this will evolve into something better.

  • CE||

    It's evolved into something worse. And Trump winning in the primaries already shook up the GOP.
    Vote Johnson.

  • dchang0||

    Gura's response is epic, although Rappaport's measured assessment is probably the wisest and most accurate telling of how we'll really decide.

  • MikeP2||

    Gura's response is partisan hyperbole. How is that "epic"?

  • JayU||

    It's pretty terrible either way. I have my doubts that Trump actually knows what's in the Constitution.

  • ||

    SCOTUS is reasons 1-99 to vote for Trump. The rest don't matter.
    Republican Congress, for better or worse, will dampen the worst impulses of a President Trump-or-Clinton.
    But Clinton's SCOTUS nominees will be damaging to 1st and 2nd Amendments for decades. The Democrats want to control all political discourse on terms favorable to them. We can't let it happen.

    Trump:
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/do.....1463598588

    Clinton:
    http://thehill.com/regulation/.....st-emerges

    this is the reason that towers above all others, to vote for Donald Trump. And believe me, I am not a fan of his.

  • Bischkva||

    Spot on. Either these experts don't understand how government works or, being in the position to shape it themselves, they don't care.

  • Bischkva||

    I am positively astounded at how little these "experts" fear the prospects of an ultra-liberal court for the next 30 years, and similarly horrific federal judges. Every case involving guns, free speech, free association, and other vital rights will be heard and decided to our detriment. Ditto the prospect of a many-fold felon (in all but legal status) filling many thousands of government posts.

    Chelsea was unqualified for any of her high-paying sinecures, but in assembling her government Hillary won't even have to pull strings to pay back donors and others to whom she's beholden.

    This article shows how low our elite, on the right and the left, have sunk when a certifiably corrupt individual with Potemkin qualifications but no accomplishments is preferred over a candidate who says stupid stuff but is otherwise no worse than average considering White House occupants since Nixon.

    One can only hope that the opinions expressed by your experts are limited to their own ideologic reverberation chambers. Nobody else I know is listening to them.

  • IMissLiberty||

    I like Gary Johnson's history with appointing judges. He interviewed multiple candidates, personally, as governor. He has said he would look for their support of the original intent of the Constitution.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    Well and good, but Gary Johnson has absolutely no chance of garnering 270 Electoral Votes.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    It may not be a "good" reason, but it very well could be "good enough".

  • Jon_Roland||

    My first candidates would be

    Randy Barnett
    Roger Pilon
    Janice Rogers Brown
    Alex Kozinski
    William Baude
    Larry Becraft
    Stephen Calabresi
    Elizabeth Price Foley
    Michaek Greve
    Kurt Lash
    Gary Larson
    John O. McGinnis
    Robert Natelson
    Clark Neily
    Michael Rappaport
    Roger Roots
    Ilya Somin
    Lawrence Solum

    which includes many of those interviewed here.

  • Holger da Dane||

    Add David Kopel to that list.

  • OregonB||

    Thoughtful, good piece.
    "...it's a choice between certainly awful, and possibly awful."
    What a cluster.

  • Hank Phillips||

    How did this entity become a senior editor? "Liberal," sneered as an expletive, is an expression lifted from Mein Kampf after the American Liberal party threat of spoiler votes forced the Dems to write a repeal plank, and used by frustrated prohibitionist republicans as a scattershot smear-by-intimidation aimed at everyone BUT nationalsocialists. Nor is there a reason to back ANY candidate. One votes against looter fascist parties and for classical liberal and libertarian parties on the principle of individual rights. Nobody with an ounce of sense is taken in by personality cults.

  • josh||

    judicial appointments are just about the only reasons I could even consider possibly, maybe, perhaps voting trump.

  • KevinP||

    The Second Amendment hangs by a thread at the Supreme Court. All the liberals on the court voted against both Heller and McDonald, leaving them with bare 5-4 majorities. With Scalia's passing, the Second Amendment is now reduced to four supporters.

    The best way to nullify the Second Amendment is to allow President Obama or Hillary Clinton to nominate more anti-gun judges. And we have to watch out for dishonest Obama nominees like Sonia Sotomayor. When confirmed she said that the Heller decision was "settled law". After confirmation she voted with the McDonald dissent to overrule Heller. She lied and cannot be trusted, and Obama and Clinton can be trusted to nominate judges who will nullify the Second Amendment.

    That's what the debate comes down to. If you do not want to see the Second Amendment nullified, you know what you have to do.

  • MikeP2||

    The 2nd will not be nullified. We all know what will happen if it gets to that point. I would really, really prefer to not have to experience that with teenage sons.

  • Pyrrho21C||

    Mr. Sandefur's comments are right on target. I can't believe how many people believe that Trump is going to begin keeping promises at this late stage in life. 'Put out for The Donald on November 8. Of course he'll respect you in the morning!'

  • MikeP2||

    I hear this all the time, but what are statements based on? endless hearsay from talking heads?

    Trump lies.
    Trump never keeps promises.
    Trump is only out for himself.

    Where are the ex-colleagues, ex-wives, ex-partners, ex-employees, ex-butlers, ex-friends, ex-college roommates that can provide first-hand stories of what he is like? I keep looking for this stuff, but I can't find it. I would have thought that with all the opposition research and media focus there would be a parade of people telling firsthand stories. But there aren't. All I've seen are positive stories, a 35 year old issue with Polish workers, and an AC land fight where the other party was particularly unpleasant. What gives?

  • bflat879||

    There is one seat we know is empty that will be filled by the next President, it is that seat which will change the country right away. Hillary will nominate a liberal and the court will immediately lean to the left, and not just a little left, but a whole bunch left. Once that happens it's Katie Bar The Door, for any rights Americans think they have.

    This isn't a guess, this isn't supposition, we know this will happen if Hillary wins. I wonder how many guns will be bought between November and February if Hillary wins?

  • mfckr||

    If Hillary wins, 2A is gone. Expect the 1A will be neutered into irrelevance.

    Unlikely that Congress won't be complicit. They certainly haven't done much to thwart Obama's agenda—he simply end-runs them with EOs & regulations as necessary. Hillary will do all that, plus have SCOTUS in her pocket.

    Anticipate the emergence of some sort of North American Union. She'll basically be the last US president with any serious powers of sovereignty.

    Hillary's coronation is pretty much the Prog endgame. Anyone who doesn't understand this might as well be braindead.

  • buybuydandavis||

    If Hillary wins, she personally packs the court for a Big Government majority for a generation.

    But that's a minor problem. Trivial.

    The real problem is that Hillary amnesties and open borders her way to packing the *electorate* with a permanent Big Government majority.

    The Progs have the federal apparatchiks, the courts, and the electorate. Game over.

    You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.

    We'll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we'll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.
  • mfckr||

    Well, I've been told on Reason many times that 3rd world immigrants are just neutral interchangeable units of labor which'll have absolutely zero impact on US electoral trajectory. So it must be true.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Trump is a liar about everything he says he'll do. Except the things I hate. Then he's absolutely telling the truth. But he's lying about all the things he says he'll do that I like.

    Hillary is better than Trump because there are things I don't like about Trump. There are things I don't like about Hillary too, but I refuse to compare them to things I don't like about Trump to see which are worse, because la la la la la I can't hear you la la la la la.

    When there is a choice between A and B, I choose C because then it is not my fault, and that's all that matters.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Thomas Sowell:

    I've often said there are three questions that would destroy most of the arguments on the left.

    The first is: 'Compared to what?'

    The second is: 'At what cost?'

    And the third is: 'What hard evidence do you have?'

    Now there are very few ideas on the left that can pass all of those…
  • old dog||

    The astounding arrogance of some of these commentaries, coupled with their silly liberal fantasies about Trump, beggar sound analysis. How can these people be taken seriously? It's the same old story - the "heavyweights", whether party, academia, news, or policy, completely ignore the fact that the v-o-t-e-r-s put Trump where he is. Clue - you do not know better than the voters. You do not. Contemplate this carefully - it's what the country depends upon. That this fact has been ignored for decades is why we are here. The old paradigm is not in play this election cycle. For a change, voters on both sides are being heard, at least until the fix is in. The things said here about Trump are a clue that these folks, or most of them, are unhinged. Their analysis is therefore suspect and/or flawed. That being the case, I think Glenn put it best - it's clearly horrible, corrupt, and anti Constitution, or possibly, and the possibly is, all fantasies aside, indicated that it's leaning towards the light. One encouraging thing is that the more the nut jobs make their over-the-top comments, the more the voters tune them out.

  • MikeP2||

    The cognitive dissonance it pundits these days is shocking.

    For anybody who isn't a far lefty mind-drone, we have this utterly clear comparison:

    Scotus: Hillary's declared policy is bad for center and right. Trump in statements is far better, but who knows. + Trump
    Foreign policy: Hillary will most likely be horrid. Trump, on the surface is better, but who knows. + Trump
    Taxes: Hillary's declared policy is bad for the middle class. Trump, on the surface is better, but who knows. + Trump
    Civil Rights: Hillary declared policy props up special interest groups and perpetuates victimology. Trump in statements is far more balanced, but who knows. + Trump
    Immigration: Hillary's declared policy perpetuates that non-working status quo. Trump in statements is possibly extreme, but status quo is non-viable, so who knows. + Trump

    Is there any topic where Hillary is deemed the preferred candidate to anyone not a lefty mind-drone?
    I would love a better slate, but at the end of the day, how is Trump not less worse?

  • mattrue||

    To borrow a line, "who knows" if Trump is going to be less worse? Who knows if McCain, Gore or Kerry would have been less worse than Bush? Who knows if Hillary will have enough political capital to do the damage she intends to inflict. Obama shot his wad in the first 2 years, and I don't think the electorate will forget the Obamacare debacle.

    We've never had a better opportunity to vote our consciences. Obama got a decent majority of the popular vote. Johnson is polling near double digits and a bunch of Sander supporters loathe Hillary more than Trump. Can you imagine if Hillary tries to govern that way with a plurality? A Clinton might actually get impeached this time!

  • Ssemans||

    I guess everybody commenting here is from PA, OH, FL - otherwise you already know how your state's electoral votes will stack up, and all this business about the Court is just masturbation. Johnson is both the moral and the pragmatic choice. Your vote tells either fool who to appoint if they want a second term.

  • CE||

    SCOTUS is a good reason to vote Libertarian. I liked Harry Browne's answer when asked for his litmus test for Supreme Court nominees: "Can they read?"

  • Freedomist||

    So there may be one reason to vote for Trump. As that enough?

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