President-Elect Donald Trump in a recent 60 Minutes interview seems to misunderstand what it means to nominate a conservative Supreme Court Justice. According to Donald Trump, there is a conservative legal expert who will both overturn Roe V. Wade while at the same time ensure that gay marriage remains intact. Such a Supreme Court nominee does not exist.
Roe v. Wade, of course, was the Supreme Court case that allowed for abortion rights under the right to privacy that is guaranteed by the United States Constitution. When asked what he wants to see in a Supreme Court Justice regarding Roe V. Wade Donald Trump said “I’m pro-life the judges will be pro-life…If it ever were overturned, it would go back to the states.” This, of course, would make it harder for women in some states to have abortions, though Mr. Trump said they would be able to travel to another state.
Later in the interview, Mr. Trump then said when asked about gay marriage that “It was already settled, it’s law it was settled in Supreme Court, I mean it’s done.” The issue here is that should Donald Trump put forward a nominee that would try and overturn Roe V. Wade, that same candidate would undoubtedly, given a chance, roll back on LGBTQ rights and gay marriage. The likelihood of finding a conservative nominee who both supports gay marriage and wishes to overturn Roe V Wade is unusual.
The lack of knowledge Donald Trump seems to have the type judge he wants to nominate alarming. If he attempts to put forward a nominee who will overturn Roe V Wade that same justice will inevitably try to curtail LQBTQ rights and marriage equality as well. Should he attempt to nominate another justice like Scalia, there is cause for concern over what damage that justice will do to gay marriage in the United States, a decision Mr. Trump claims is set in stone. With regards to another decision, Roe V Wade, which is “already settled,” to use his words, he wishes to see that decision overturned and sent back to the states.
It seems that Donald Trump would like to overturn one law that is already settled, while at the same time keep another law intact. He doesn’t appear to understand that he does not make the judicial decisions on the bench, his nominee and supporting justices do. His lack of knowledge of how the Supreme Court works seems limited. His lack of awareness for his hypocrisy is alarming as well.