In my post-debate analysis, I didn't touch on this exchange because I thought it merited its own post -- especially in light of the GOP's descent into open warfare and complete disarray. Hillary Clinton's answer on nominating Supreme Court justices underscores core reasons why she must be opposed, directly or indirectly, at the ballot box: Self-serving hypocrisy, policy extremism, and abject pandering. In explaining how she wants to shift the Court's ideological balance to the left, she invoked three specific cases:
(1) Citizens United. Clinton said that she'll appoint jurists who will overturn this 5-4 decision rendered in 2010, which affirmed that spending on political speech is, in fact, protected by the First Amendment. Clinton said she opposes the decision because we need to "get dark, unaccountable money our of our politics." This is quite rich coming from the nominee of a party that routinely out-raises and out-spends Republicans in federal elections -- and who raised $143 million in the month of August, including $21 million in one Hamptons weekend alone. This is extremely rich coming from a party that has filled its coffers with billions in political dollars from labor unions, some of whom have extracted that money from unwilling rank-and-file members. It's exceptionally rich coming from a top slush fund manager at the Clinton Foundation, which has trafficked in a sea of undisclosed foreign cash, operating as a global influence bank. And one fact you never hear Hillary Clinton mention in her denunciation of Citizens United is that the particulars of the case itself involved the government's ability to censor and ban a film that was critical of...Hillary Clinton. In oral arguments over the case, an Obama administration lawyer said that yes, campaign finance laws could be used to ban books. Hillary Clinton's top priority on Supreme Court matters is to erode first amendment political speech protections.
(2) Roe v. Wade. Mrs. Clinton may be a shape-shifting liar on a host of issues, a reputation confirmed in a number of Wikileaks revelations, but one area where she is totally and fanatically consistent is abortion. She believes that Roe v. Wade -- the overturning of which would not lead to the blanket illegality of abortion, but would merely restore the difficult issue to the people's representatives -- is sacrosanct. That the constitution guarantees the right to end a pre-born human life. It says no such thing, and even some liberal scholars have admitted that the case was poorly decided. Clinton opposes any and all restrictions on abortion, believing it should be legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy, on demand, for any reason, and paid for by taxpayers. Short of mandating compulsory abortions, this is as radical as it gets. What's interesting is that later in the answer clipped above, she raises gun control in the context of the Supreme Court discussion, arguing that there ought to be more legal barriers to exercising a constitutional right that is explicitly spelled out in the second amendment. So she demands significant limitations on the bona fide right to bear arms, imposed by legislatures -- yet reasonable, mainstream, popular restrictions on the invented "right" to abortion, adopted by legislatures, are wholly unacceptable. Inconsistency paired with extremism.
(3) Obergefell. Last year, five justices determined that the Constitution contains a fundamental right to same-sex marriage. For nearly her entire political career, Mrs. Clinton opposed this right. She opposed it as a candidate for US Senate. She indignantly denied that her backing for other legislation was in any way an indication that her view of marriage was anything other than the "sacred" bond of one man and one woman. Her husband signed a federal religious freedom law that very closely resembles various state-level efforts that Clinton now demagogues. And her husband signed 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), about which she has recently lied. Only in the last few years, when it was not only totally politically safe to do so, but actually politically unsafe for her not to do so, has Clinton become a self-congratulatory champion of marriage equality. She would have us believe that something she opposed as a matter of public policy until very recently is now so very important to her that it's a top three priority on Supreme Court matters? What an embarrassingly clumsy and transparent pander. If the political climate required her to reverse herself again on the issue, she'd do it in a heartbeat. All she'd have to do is re-adopt the stance she steadfastly held for most of her adult life. This posturing is a window into her character and her view of the American people.
Even to this 'Never Trump' stalwart's ears, the very best conservative argument for Donald Trump is that while we know for a fact that Hillary Clinton will pick left-wing justices, Trump might not. The lists of potential candidates he has put forth include many impressive names, but Trump cannot be fully trusted to follow through on any of them. But there's at least a fair chance that he would. The chance of getting a strong constitutionalist on the bench under Clinton is zero. She is likely to win in November, and even a Republican Senate would be hard-pressed to hold up her nominee to fill the current vacancy. They've already done so for months under Obama, following through on the Biden precedent, about which Hillary complains bitterly in the exchange above. But a GOP Senate would have some leverage over the type of nominee she may find politically realistic -- and it would be able to block some of the most extreme nominees she may be tempted to put forth, as they have with Obama. If Republicans lose the Senate, Chuck Schumer will nuke the rest of the judicial filibuster, and Clinton's Democrats will railroad through a conga line of hardcore leftists. The stakes are too high for any center-right voter to stay home next month, no matter how dispirited or frustrated they may feel. I'll leave you with the trailer to the movie Mrs. Clinton would like the Supreme Court to ban by reimagining a narrower first amendment: