The anti-LGBTQ hate group who represented Kim Davis in court believes the United States is “a few months away” from overturning marriage equality.
Speaking to the radio show VCY America, Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver stressed the importance of Republicans turning out to vote in the 2018 midterm elections. Keeping conservative Senators in officewho currently hold a 51 to 49 majority in the upper house of the U.S. Senatemeans that the GOP will have the ability to push through Supreme Court justices nominated by President Trump.
Staver told VCY America’s Jim Schneider that Trump “literally has the opportunity to reshape the landscape of the entire federal judiciary, including the Supreme Court,” as Right Wing Watch originally reported.
With the rumored retirement of 81-year-old Anthony Kennedy from the SCOTUS bench, the right-wing activist teased the possibility of “one, maybe two more” Supreme Court justices stepping down from the bench in the second half of Trump’s first term. Staver fantasized about Kennedy, a centrist conservative who frequently sides in favor of LGBTQ rights, being replaced “with someone like [Neil] Gorsuch.”
“[T]he abortion decision, the same-sex marriage decision, all of those things that went the wrong way will ultimately be in the balance to be reversed,” claimed Staver, who also founded the Florida-based legal firm. “So literally we are a few months away.”
Speculation has suggested that Kennedy, the second-oldest member of the Supreme Court, will tender his resignation this year. In a March speech delivered at a Las Vegas rally, Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) predicted the announcement could be made as early as this summer. He claimed the impending vacancy would “get [the GOP’s] base a little motivated.”
When running for office, Trump vowed to appoint Supreme Court justices “very much in the mold” of Antonin Scaliawho used his three decades on the bench to unilaterally oppose LGBTQ equality. Scalia famously compared homosexuality to murder, polygamy, child pornography, bestiality, and animal abuse.
In addition, the Commander-in-Chief said he would consider appointing judges who would overturn Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision legalizing marriage equality.
Staver praised the president for sticking to his word by appointing anti-LGBTQ, far right-wing jurists like Gorsuch (who opposed same-sex marriage in his 2004 dissertation) to SCOTUS and Kyle Duncan (who believes Obergefell was an “abject failure”) to the Fifth Circuit. He said these men are “dedicated to the original understanding and interpretation of the Constitution and the statutes.”
“The nice thing about what President Trump has donedifferent from other Republican presidentsis that he is appointing judges who are what I would call constitutionalists, originalists,” Staver claimed.
“Republican presidents in the past, they’ve been hit or miss,” he added. “President Trump so far has been hitting this on the nail.”
Whether the GOP will have a clear path to fill additional openings on the Supreme Court remains to be seen. It’s undoubtedly a tough midterm election for Senate Democrats. Of the 35 Senate races which will be contested in 2018, 26 of those seats are currently held by liberals. Politico has referred to the situation as “brutal.”
But at least one Supreme Court spot is unlikely to be up for grabs. Despite being the SCOTUS’ oldest member, left-wing icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has already hired her clerks through 2020.
The 85-year-old will remain on the bench for as long as she can go “full steam,” Ginsberg has said.
Photo via Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call