The Bull's Eye

A concerning shift in power

Erin Li, Asst. Opinion Editor

This month, Trump fulfilled his promise to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy with a more conservative jurist, naming Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee.

The Supreme Court is the highest court in the nation and decides how the Constitution should be interpreted and has the power of judicial review for cases regarding constitutional issues or federal law. Its conviction is considered final and must be followed by lower courts, and only Congress, future Amendments or the Supreme Court itself can change or override past decisions.

Due to the immense power the highest state appellate court holds, Kennedy’s replacement holds the ability to change past rulings. Kavanaugh, previous U.S. Circuit Judge for the Court of Appeals, is known for his strict constitutional interpretations and being involved in former President Clinton’s impeachment, which helped him gain trust and respect from Republican leaders and the White House counsel.

Despite his stature, Kavanaugh is seen a threat to some, particularly the left wing. Appointing Kavanaugh will endanger some of the most important precedents in the U.S. including rulings on gay rights, abortion and racial issues.

Kavanaugh, compared to Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s other conservative nomination, is likely to vote with the conservative majority in cases that Kennedy voted the other way. Kavanaugh has shown his viewpoints in the past through cases he has handled in the Court of Appeals and with statements made when he was a White House staff secretary. Unlike Kennedy, a swing voter who evened out the conservative and liberal wing of the court, Kavanaugh’s official appointment will lead to the panel of jurists leaning more on the conservative side of the spectrum.

His strictly constitutional decisions have made him appealing to Trump and the Republican Party. Officially appointing Kavanaugh will tilt the majority of the Supreme Court justices towards more Republican-affiliated decisions. Previous cases Kavanaugh ruled upon include gun rights, dealing with large businesses and presidential powers.

Kavanaugh’s conservative approach to gun control threatens those who have fought for common-sense gun control, especially as fear continues to steadily rise in schools and workplaces. Kavanaugh’s insistence that semiautomatic rifles “have not traditionally be banned” puts more and more American people in danger.

Completely disregarding the panic and fear of more guns in the past, Kavanaugh has constantly fought for a broader definition of the Second Amendment and how it should extend to rapid-fire rifles, the right to public carry and the ability to conceal guns.

As for the future of Roe v. Wade, Trump’s promise to only elect conservative judges extends to “pro-life” judges as well. If Roe gets overturned, which most likely will happen, individual states will decide on the legality of abortions.

As a country, we have made much progress to create a more impartial society for future generations. Liberals across the U.S. should protest against the Senate’s confirmation of Kavanaugh, in fear that the lives and effort sacrificed in protests and progressive movements were for nothing.

If you care about such issues as gun control, voting rights, abortion or gay marriage, you should be very concerned about the upcoming Senate hearings on Kavanaugh.

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