A Southern Baptist pastor who was among the first evangelical leaders to support Donald Trump – and was roundly criticized for it – is ecstatic about the president getting to choose another Supreme Court justice.
According to presidential advisor Dr. Robert Jeffress, conservatives suddenly felt like they were back in the game again. "This remaking the judiciary is going to shift the direction of our country dramatically," he told Fox News on Thursday. "It's going to cement his legacy as a conservative, and I believe it will ensure his reelection."
The Dallas-based Baptist pastor expects Trump to nominate a conservative constitutionalist who will then get through the Senate confirmation process.
"I think [that] would be tough for anyone except for Donald J. Trump," Jeffress offered. "He has the guts to push forward in this. He knows the number-one reason evangelicals voted for him in the largest margin in history was because of his commitment to a conservative judiciary."
And then eventually, he said, "a conservative court will either overturn Roe v. Wade or at least greatly diminish its importance and its power."
Judge Jeanine on Justice Kennedy
Thursday on American Family Radio, Fox News Channel legal commentator Judge Jeanine Pirro said she didn't expect Kennedy to retire this quickly – but that "he did it the right way."
"He did it on the last day of the term – so hopefully there will be a new Supreme Court justice before that first Tuesday in October. But ... Kennedy is an extremely important justice, because it's not just replacing an Antonin Scalia or a Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Scalia being a conservative and Ginsberg being a liberal. Kennedy is the swing vote – so if we can get a conservative in the place of the swing vote, then we've got a Supreme Court that is a conservative Supreme Court."
"The good news is that if there is another retirement on the Supreme Court while Donald Trump is president, we have the ability to take that Supreme Court in a direction for a generation – and that's important stuff. It is crucial to this country right now."
For Jeffress, it's a feel-good moment he's been waiting for since being criticized by evangelicals who say he's selling out by supporting President Trump. "What is happening right now vindicates our decision to choose Donald Trump as president," he stated, "and I believe the #NeverTrump movement, still in evangelicalism, is going to be shut up forever."
"All these never-Trumpers out there, these former Bush administration officials or pseudo-Conservatives who have been trashing this President left and right ... I don’t mean just disagreeing with him here and there but wishing him failure, trying to sabotage him, joining in with the left. SHAME ON THEM, SHAME ON THEM. He is correcting the courts, he’s correcting what Obama did, he’s trying to make sure this republic stands as it was intended to and he’s been outstanding when it comes to the judiciary. Can you imagine if Hillary Clinton had been President of the United States what would be going on right now?"
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