Stossel: What Trump’s court pick means for liberty

From John Stossel at Reason:

Some people are very angry about President Trump’s new Supreme Court pick.

“Hell no, Kavanaugh! He is a dangerous man!” protesters shouted on the steps of the Supreme Court. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand yelled, “What is at stake is freedom for LGBTQ Americans, for equal rights, civil rights…”

“They are freaking out because they don’t understand,” Ilya Shapiro, editor of the Cato Institute’s Supreme Court Review, tells me. “Those top areas, abortion or gay rights or Citizens United, there’s really not going to be a change.”

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Every time one party appoints a judge, the other party acts as if the appointment will fundamentally change America. But the Supreme Court is the most cautious of the three branches of government. Today’s Court, headed by Chief Justice John Roberts, is especially respectful of precedent.

They almost always base their decisions on decisions made by prior justices, and they often defer to lower courts. That doesn’t lead to many surprising changes.

Maybe that’s why, despite activists protesting most every recent appointment, a study finds most Americans can’t name a single Supreme Court justice.

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We notice the president, and most of us can name at least some members of Congress. Those people might do something surprising.

Supreme Court justices, whether Republican or Democratic appointees, are not very likely to undo existing laws, especially laws that millions of Americans have already acted on.

After 45 years of legal abortions, Roe v. Wade isn’t likely to be repealed. Gay marriage is pretty safe too after a quarter-million gay marriages. The Court’s unlikely to reverse itself on either issue.

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