This past election wore people out, plain and simple. Hillary seemed the inevitable winner with another four years of Obama-style tyranny on the horizon and little hope of returning to the Constitution. Just when conservatives thought it couldn’t get worse, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away.
Not only was he a great man and legendary judicial mind, he was the last stop to hold the Constitution together when it was hanging by a thread. Scalia and Judge Clarence Thomas held down the conservative wing of the court as it leaned further and further to the left. His loss was a seismic event for the Supreme Court.
A good portion of the Republicans voted for Donald Trump solely on this issue — filling the sizable shoes of the stalwart constitutionalist Judge Antonin Scalia. When candidate Trump put out a list of nominees, promising to choose only from among those named, it was a catalyst for many reticent voters to throw in with him. There are many reasons Trump shocked the world and won the election, but the vacancy on the Supreme Court played no small measure in him clinching the victory to stop Hillary Clinton from nominating a progressive leftist to the court.
Many names were tossed around in the weeks following Trump’s election leading up to the inauguration. Even then, the #NeverTrump crowd still remained skeptical that he would actually nominate someone worthy of replacing Scalia. Then the final three names started to emerge: Thomas Hardiman, William Pryor and Neil Gorsuch.
Conservatives would have been fine with either Pryor or Gorsuch, but the fear was Trump would pick Hardiman, who was about as close to the center without falling into the left. Hardiman even served on the same court as Trump’s sister. The writing appeared to be on the wall, many believing Trump was about to reveal exactly why he couldn’t be trusted.
But they were wrong.
The day of the announcement, both Hardiman and Gorsuch were flown into D.C. while Pryor watched from home. With Gorsuch widely considered to be the top choice, conservatives were still holding their breath. To the shock and amazement of #NeverTrumpers, Gorsuch was the pick and Trump followed through on his promise of nominating a true conservative.
Gorsuch has ruled as an originalist and is a man of great integrity and honor, fighting valiantly to uphold the Constitution in a way the Framers intended. He ruled in favor of religious liberty in the Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor cases, ruling they did not have to provide contraception or pay for abortion. Not only is he strong in defending religious liberty, he is equally strong on the Second Amendment and is even more focused on limiting the size of government than even Scalia — something conservatives thought they might never see on the bench again.
Whether conservative voters were ever able to pull the lever for Trump or not, he delivered and sparked a fire in those who hold the Supreme Court near and dear to their heart.