There are two important lessons from the third debate that every voter must consider.
On the question of abortion Hillary Clinton promised to appoint justices that would maintain the status quo or expand abortion rights for women. In contrast Donald Trump not only supported the pro-life position, he showed up the lawyer in the debate. Trump correctly pointed out that if current precedent regarding abortion were to be overturned by the Supreme Court that it would not make abortion illegal across the country.
If the big three cases Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, were to be overturned in the future the result would not be the end of “a woman’s right to choose.” Decisions about abortion law would return to the states. State legislators and governors would listen to their constituents and propose legislation that matches the preferences of their constituents.
That is why Democrats are so worried about a future Supreme Court going a different way. Rather than one nine person tribunal making a decision for the whole country they would have to fight it out in fifty state legislatures and convince huge swathes of the population. Dems know that success is far from assured. Consider another battle in the culture wars. Even California voters supported a traditional definition of marriage when they passed Proposition 8.
Democrats know that they can’t win if they have to take the argument to the people. Even liberal strongholds may not deliver the results they want.
On the topic of gun control Donald Trump supported the recent Heller decision and said that he would appoint justices that support the gun rights of individual Americans. Hillary Clinton gave her usual throwaway line about supporting the Second Amendment but wanting ‘common sense’ gun laws. She almost slipped up and said gun control.
Clinton then launched into a bizarre commentary about protecting children and toddlers from gun injuries. Remember that statistics on gun related injuries and deaths lumps children with teenagers and some of those teenagers are involved in crime and gang activity.
Keeping weapons away from small children is not the issue. The NRA’s Eddie Eagle program works to educate children about what to do when they find guns. Concern for the children aside it is crucial that we identify the salami tactics that Clinton and the Democrats will deploy.
I support the Second Amendment but we need common sense gun laws to protect children.
I support the Second Amendment but high capacity magazines are not something that any hunter needs.
I support the Second Amendment but no one needs an assault weapon to go hunting or protect their home.
I support the Second Amendment but certain types of ammunition need to be more closely regulated.
I support the Second Amendment but guns have no place within 1000’ of our schools.
And so on and so on, slice by salami slice, our Second Amendment will be cut away to nothing. No one slice is enough to get worked up about and the national media would ridicule anyone who complains. But be sure that it will be a relentless process.
Carefully consider the implications of what each candidate is proposing. Trump will appoint justices that will preserve our Constitutional rights and return power to the states and the people. Clinton will continue appointing justices that will rule according to whatever liberal notion is in vogue in the moment.
Supreme Court picks will shape our legal landscape for a generation. Choose wisely.