In 2016, I had the privilege of sitting down with a few senior Republican Congressmen not long after the Trump victory. All of them told me that the one thing they wanted most of all to be accomplished during the next four years was filling any vacancies on the Supreme Court with conservative-minded justices. The 2016 election was considered the most critical in recent American history because of the possibility that three seats would become available. This would ensure the stability of the American republic for many years to come. Twenty-six percent of Trump voters reported that the Supreme Court was the most important factor in their decision; only 18 percent of Clinton voters thought the Supreme Court was the most important issue. President Trump, by nominating Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, guarantees the successful future of America.
Since 1789, there have been 163 formal nominations to the Supreme Court (144 persons); 126 have been confirmed. George Washington leads the list with 14 nominations (12 were confirmed). Franklin D. Roosevelt and John Tyler are next with nine nominations each. All of Roosevelt’s were confirmed; only one of Tyler’s was confirmed. Andrew Jackson, who is most compared to President Trump, nominated seven and had five confirmed. On the subject of Andrew Jackson, despite many of his actions proving divisive, he garnered both fervent support and strong opposition; he still held two terms as President (1829-1837).
Both President Reagan (Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, and Anthony Kennedy) and President Nixon (Henry Blackmun, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., and William Rehnquist) each appointed three justices to the Supreme Court.
There have been 29 times a vacancy occurred in an election year. A nomination was made each of the 29 times. It has been a rule rather than an exception for a President to fill a vacancy during an election year. The filling of the vacancy is the crucial thing, not the election.
If President Trump accomplishes getting three conservative judges onto the Supreme Court, he will have fulfilled one of the major goals of his Presidency and of his backers. Unlike most Presidents who make a lot of campaign promises, President Trump has come as close as anyone in fulfilling all of his. America has been the real winner. He has set America in the right direction for many years to come. That’s how important the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett is.
Joseph M. Frager is a physician and lifelong activist.