December 3, 2021

Did Trump say he would only nominate Justices who committed to overruling Roe v. Wade?

I heard the NYT reporter Adam Liptak make that assertion (on yesterday's episode of the NYT "Daily" podcast), and I wondered if that was strictly accurate. 

Writing every day, I've followed Trump very closely, and I believe if he said anything like that, I would have blogged about it, and the key words to search my archive are so clear — Trump... Supreme Court... abortion — that I'm going to believe the answer is "no" if I am unable to find it. 

***

I needed to read through about 20 old posts to find what is relevant to my question — only 3 posts, which I'll present in chronological order, with boldface added:

June 27, 2016

I asked, "Why hasn't Trump said anything about the Supreme Court's new abortion case?" Answering my own question: "Gender politics isn't his thing. He only talks about abortion when pushed or when attacked."

October 20, 2016

Chris Wallace, moderating a debate, asked where the Supreme Court should take the country and what's the right approach to constitutional interpretation. Trump blathered a bit, seized on the Second Amendment, and threw in "The justices that I am going to appoint will be pro-life." You can be pro-life and still decide reaffirm the long-standing precedent, so his answer is an evasion. Wallace was smart to follow up:

Wallace: Mr. Trump, you're pro-life... Do you want the court, including the justices that you will name, to overturn Roe v. Wade, which includes, in fact, states a woman's right to abortion.

Trump: Well, if that would happen, because I am pro-life and I will be appointing pro-life judges, I would think that would go back to the individual states.

Wallace: I'm asking you specifically would you-

Trump: If they overturned it, it would go back to the states.

Wallace: But what I'm asking you, do you want to see the court overturn it? You just said you want to see the court protect the second amendment, do you want to see the court overturn-

Trump: If we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that is really what will happen. That will happen automatically in my opinion.
I protested:
Automatically?! I was shouting at the TV at this point: He does not understand how the law works! The overturning of Roe v. Wade would never "happen automatically." Even if you put people you believed were pro-life onto the Court, they would have to read the briefs, hear the argument, contemplate stare decisis, and experience the awesome responsibility from within the new position of unassailable lifetime tenure. Justices O'Connor and Kennedy (appointed by Reagan) and Justice Souter (appointment by Bush I) were already there, and they preserved Roe v. Wade when they got confronted with overturning it in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. There is nothing automatic here, and, in fact, I place my bet on Roe v. Wade never being overturned, no matter how many supposedly pro-life justices get on the Court.

November 14, 2016

It's after the election now, and Lesley Stahl, on "60 Minutes," asked Trump "Will you appoint-- are you looking to appoint a justice who wants to overturn Roe v. Wade?" Trump evaded the question by answering "The judges will be pro-life" and "if [Roe] ever were overturned, it would go back to the states." Stahl did not pick up on the evasion. The discussion shifted to what would happen if Roe were overturned, and he blew it off with "Well, we’ll see what happens. It’s got a long way to go, just so you understand. That has a long, long way to go." 

I read between the lines: "He doesn't want Roe v. Wade to be overturned, and even as he wants pro-lifers to know he cares, he'd like pro-choicers not to worry too much."

***

I'm open to correction, but it is my belief, based on paying close attention, that Trump never said he would only nominate Justices who are committed to overruling Roe v. Wade. I can see how people got that message, however, and I can see how you might want to hold him responsible for saying things that caused them to think that's what they heard. Feel free to get angry at Trump. I always thought he didn't have much feeling for how law works. He's more about closing deals — Let the lawyers tend to the law stuff! But I think he wanted solid conservative scholars on the Court, and that mattered far more than actually getting Roe v. Wade overruled. In fact, that's a result I don't even believe he wanted.

73 comments:

rcocean said...

The difference between Trump and the Two Bushes is honesty. Trump never claimed to be much of a social conservative. Yet he promised to appoint conservative justices and support Pro-life. He was the only Republican POTUS who marched in a Pro-life parade. And using the list provided by the supposedly conservative Federalist society he appointed 3 Justices that were supposedly Conservative.

Why? Mostly because Trump made a promise to social conservatives and kept it. The Bushes meanwhile were liars through and through. Bush I, made all the social conservative noises, but regarded social issues as a bore and appointed Souter a liberal and Thomas a black conservative because they were supposed to sail through the Senate. Souter did. Thomas didn't because despite the support of Moderate Danforth, the leftist Senators knew Thomas was much more Right wing than anyone knew.

As for Bush II, he easily could have appointed two more Scailia types. Instead, he gave us Roberts beause Sen Spector and the moderate D's liked him, and tried to give us his secretary Harriet Miers who would've been another Souter. Its only after he was hammered that he reluctantly appointed Alioto.

Joe Smith said...

'I always thought he didn't have much feeling for how law works.'

He's not a lawyer...

But this lack of knowledge is a huge problem in the country.

We are bombarded daily by legislators and journalists who have zero expertise in a given field, but are compelled to lecture us about climate, biology, etc., none of whom having any formal training in those fields.

Journalism majors are some of the dumbest people on the planet. A degree in 'communications' is worth zero. It might as well be basket-weaving.

mikee said...

What does it mean to be a "pro-life" justice? Certainly there are "pro-choice" justices, and I don't think there are any "anti-life" justices. So would a "pro-life" justice recognize that the decision in Roe v Wade was a huge overreach by the Supreme Court, and would "pro-choice" justices be honest enough to go along with that? I'd like to see abortion removed to the legislative arena, where it belongs.

Eleanor said...

Pro-life is pro-life. If you want abortion to be legal, but with some restrictions, you are pro-choice. It's like saying you're against the death penality except in some limited circumstances. That makes you pro-death penalty. If you believe it's OK to abort a baby conceived in rape, you aren't pro-life. What did the baby do that warrants execution? If one unborn child deserves life, they all do. If a Supreme Court justice says he or she is pro-life and chooses to uphold Roe or Casey because of some decision made a half-century ago, then it means we can't ever become more moral than those who came before. It means we're stuck with what came before us, even it let loose something heinous.

Balfegor said...

I know Trump superfans won't like this, but to be honest, I'm dubious that Trump is all that pro-life really. He's not as much of a slimeball as, say, Jeffrey Toobin, but back in his playboy days, did he really never pressure any girls to get abortions?

I suppose the evidence against is that by now, Democrat muckrakers would surely have found the evidence if it existed, but still -- legal abortion provides such an enormous, obvious benefit to cads. Was he publicly pro-life back in the 1980’s? If Trump is genuinely pro-life today, I suspect his aging out of his caddish years is part of it.

Shoeless Joe said...

The NY Times thinks Trump called the KKK very fine people and later advised people to inject bleach into their veins, so consider the source.

Big Mike said...

Feel free to get angry at Trump.

Most people left of center do, whether they have a reason to or not. On a daily basis Joe Biden makes us miss Trump more and more, which only makes them angrier.

I always thought he didn't have much feeling for how law works.

As many times as he has initiated or defended lawsuits? It wouldn’t surprise me if he knows as much about contract law as all your old colleagues combined. I will concede your point if you amend your sentence to restrict it to Constitutional Law.

Sebastian said...

"Automatically?! I was shouting at the TV at this point"

Taking him literally, but not seriously enough. Basic point in the post is correct though.

Limited blogger said...

Ann, thanks for the 'deep dive' on this.

I couldn't do it.

And the left certainly ain't gonna do it either. Easier to just throw a lie out there.

Narr said...

I'll violate my usual stance on abortion debate to say that Prof most likely has the clearest sense of the law and Trump's limitations in that regard--limitations of intellect, interest, and intent that reflect the way a lot (plurality?) of voters' approach the issue.

But nuance only goes so far, and it is convenient for both ends of the debate to pretend that "Pro-Life" means only and precisely "Overturning Roe v. Wade [Casey]."

MadisonMan said...

It's not the first time people at the NYTimes have misrepresented what Trump has said.

Howard said...

What does it matter? Politicians say anything about everything and do what they want. Obviously the religious right are the most susceptible to conspiracy con artists and magical thinking. Of course Trump caters to them, they are his amen corner.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Trump consistently argued process ("I'll nominate pro-life judges") while his interrogators always focused on outcomes and feelings ("but do you WANT Roe overturned?"), which he evaded. That you and I can interpret his avoidance of the question differently is testament to his skill in articulating a clear but ambiguous statement. There is no doubt Trump formulated responses that remained honest and focused on what could be DONE more than what the eventual results would be. And I see his "automatically" comment as consistent with his belief that a pro-life and pro-originalist majority would naturally at some point be asked to look at Casey and find it lacking textual support, despite stare decisis. But he is purposely ambiguous and it is possible your interpretation of Trump's comments is correct. I just wish more Republicans would follow his communications strategy in this way.

Obama was also skilled at leading people to think he said things they believe, even while he was being cleverly ambiguous. Perhaps there are other "Trump is like Obama" examples like this.

hawkeyedjb said...

At least Hillary Clinton made it clear and explicit: judges would have to pledge to overturn Citizens United if they were to be nominated to the Supreme Court. There was never a peep of objection from our exalted media and commentators about this blatant interference with the Court's judicial role. As expected.

Critter said...

Good observation. The belief that Trump said he would only nominate Justices committed to overruling Roe v. Wade is a reveal. That is how Democrats view Court appointments, just the same as how they view Justices ruling - decide the outcome you want and then craft reasoning for voting that way. At least Trump repeatedly said he would appoint Justices who were personally pro-life, not committed to overturning Roe v. Wade.

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

"It's the NYT, Ann." to paraphrase from Chinatown.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Of course we still don't know what the Court will decide, but the political aftermath is a big question. The abortion issue remains extremely divisive, so the Burger Court's hopes in this regard have not been realized. If the Court says there is nothing in the Constitution that either forbids or requires any specific law on abortion (leaving much of the penumbras of privacy business intact), will this cause a backlash/make the divisiveness worse? Maybe the focus will shift from disagreements within families to the usual red states/blue states. Which states would be purple, or swing states on abortion?

Lem Ozuna from the Braves said...

Another lie about Trump for people who are not meticulously paying attention to believe.

madAsHell said...

Why does the NYT even care what Trump thinks?

This is battle space for the next round of election fraud.

Chris Lopes said...

Trump was never the cultural warrior or ideologue that his fans and his critics claimed him to be. Had the left not gone into full Defcon One mode, they probably could have gotten a good portion of their agenda passed just by flattering the shit out of guy. Instead, they decided s scorched earth strategy was best, which forced Trump into the ideological arms of people he would have laughed at 5 years earlier.

MikeR said...

"I wondered if that was strictly accurate." From the evidence given, the answer is, absolutely not accurate at all. He went out of his way to make that clear. He would appoint people that he thought would do the things he thinks ought to be done, but he would not ask them to commit to it.

Amadeus 48 said...

Gee, Trump was a better politician than most give him credit for. What you call evasions allowed everyone to think he agreed with them at some level.

I particularly like the "It will go back to the states." Not only is that correct, it leads to the conclusion that if people don't like their state's abortion laws, they should either get involved to change the law or move to a more congenial state. It's the "Glories of Federalism" argument with a soupçon of "laboratories of democracy" on the side.

Saint Croix said...

What's interesting about Trump is his lack of a filter. That doesn't mean that everything he says is honest or true. But he is far more likely to speak his mind than your average politician.

Most Republicans nudge and hedge and wink and say "I want Supreme Court Justices who follow the Constitution." And they nominate a bunch of Catholics and hope for the best.

Trump says, "I'm nominating pro-life judges." He's not "nuanced" enough to finesse the double-speak. He just wades right into it in crass fashion. That's what people like about him, his openness.

All the attacks on Trump assumed that he was doing a lot of evil shit in private, far worse than his public statements. I suspect they got him completely wrong. I don't really know, of course, but I suspect that private Trump and public Trump are very, very similar.

Saint Croix said...

Was he publicly pro-life back in the 1980’s? If Trump is genuinely pro-life today, I suspect his aging out of his caddish years is part of it.

He was pro-choice for most of his life. I didn't vote for him in 2016 because I had no trust in his newfound respect for the pro-life movement. I thought it was horseshit.

I was wrong. While Trump may or may not be pro-life in his heart of hearts, he has great respect for the ones who brought him to the dance. He is very much aware of his voters and wants to align his actions with his voters.

Also, Trump said he changed his mind about abortion when some friends of his had a premature baby born into a NICU.

I believe him now. I voted for him in 2020. It was an easy call to make.

Joe Smith said...

'Obviously the religious right are the most susceptible to conspiracy con artists and magical thinking.'

Stupidity extraordinaire...

'Trump is a Russian puppet' is the biggest political falsity/hit-job in the last 200 years, all driven by the gullibility and stupidity of the secular left and leftist media, Hollywood, academia, etc.

Are you really as dumb as your writing leads us to believe?

Lem Ozuna from the Braves said...

If Trump had said something like that while president it would have dominated news coverage for days if not weeks.

Tina Trent said...

And as I said earlier, anyone who thinks they are pro-choice should have to spend a whole shift reassembling the arms and legs and faces and torsos and skull parts of the second trimester babies we are quibbling about now.

Put your money where the bone shards are…ever wonder the pro-choice lobbyists and Planned Parenthood lawyers and Supremes and elected officials never actually worked in an abortion clinic? I’ve met hundreds. Never met ONE who did the actual excavating.

Amadeus 48 said...

"Obviously the religious right are the most susceptible to conspiracy con artists and magical thinking."

Well, except for the progressives. They are struggling with inflation conceptually, so they have decided to pronounce it good. It is the path to riches. Weimar Republic? Zimbabwe? Venezuela?

Has anyone checked on Biden recently? I saw he praised his role as a Middle East go-between (at the request of Golda Meir, he says) when he was either a second-year law student or a second-year senator. Will wonders never cease? Or is that just a Super Joe delusion?

I'm Not Sure said...

"It's the "Glories of Federalism" argument with a soupçon of "laboratories of democracy" on the side."

Democrats don't like this idea. Everybody must do (or not do) the same things together. Can't have people just deciding for themselves how to live their lives.

rcocean said...

Just noticed it. Leslie Stahl is still alive? And why is she still on the air?

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

Why can't people take a stand on issues?
Why are only leftist stances allowed?

That seems odd to me.

rcocean said...

Here's another point. People actually do change. Some used to oppose Gay Marriage and now support it. Just because "Trump was a slimeball" back 30 years ago, doesn't mean he can't change. He was a celebrity/businessman in 2000. In 2015 he decided to run for POTUS despite it costing him hundreds of $millions. Cue: Liberal/Leftists celebrating how they damaged Trump's Busineses.

narciso said...

he had the federalist society do it, now we'll see if they chose correctly, it's very clear the state media wants abortion forever, frankly like the frankenstein john holdren, they push for sterilization now, because mother earth, maybe selective breeding ala logans run,

Saint Croix said...

What would be super-helpful for the Supreme Court is if one or more Justices said an unborn baby is a person with a right to life.

That would be super-helpful, because it would give other people on the Court the opportunity to say they are personally pro-life, but think the matter should be resolved by the states.

The Supreme Court's abortion jurisprudence has been completely skewed (and unworkable) because one important side (i.e. "pro-life") has never been represented in any judicial opinion. It's as if calling an unborn child a person is an unthinkable and ridiculous assertion. And the failure to grapple with that issue is what keeps the Supreme Court from being able to address the elephant in the room.

Once the elephant in the room (Thomas? Alito?) announces, "I am the elephant in the room!" all of a sudden everyone is forced to decide whether they are going to say the baby is a person or to reaffirm the non-human designation.

I suspect Kavanaugh is committed to saying the unborn baby is a non-person. Maybe multiple jurists would commit to that proposition. Or maybe they would waffle. Because upholding abortion when you think it's a homicide is an awful thing to do, and putting your name on that is like an abolitionist judge sending a slave back to the south. (See Justice Accused by Robert Cover).

It would benefit people to see the Supreme Court struggling with this issue out in the open. But you can't do that if everybody buries the pro-life impulse as illicit. It's not illegal, or wrong, to say a human baby is a person. Somebody on the Court really ought to wave that flag.

Big Mike said...

Journalism majors are some of the dumbest people on the planet. A degree in 'communications' is worth zero. It might as well be basket-weaving.

@Joe Smith, people who weave baskets are actually performing a useful task.

Readering said...

Pro life would mean overrule Roe to the voters who would only vote Republican on that basis. But there was also a bias against litmus tests. Trump did not ask the question when he interviewed justices. The difference from Bush 1 was that judges had not worked their way up through fedsoc so ideologies clear. HW picked Souter over Starr because latter judged less likely to overturn Roe.

Althouse dreaming to think there have not been 5 votes to overturn Roe/Casey since Barrett sworn in.

Drago said...

Chris Lopes: "Trump was never the cultural warrior or ideologue that his fans and his critics claimed him to be. Had the left not gone into full Defcon One mode, they probably could have gotten a good portion of their agenda passed just by flattering the shit out of guy. Instead, they decided s scorched earth strategy was best, which forced Trump into the ideological arms of people he would have laughed at 5 years earlier."

Sounds like the stuff hardcore Romney/McCain voters would write.....as they continue to hand the dems "one way ratchet" victory after victory....while asking us for more money to "fight" the dems (wink wink).

Narayanan said...

if you are not confused enough :
Abortion Rights are Pro Life

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Reagan and the two Bushes were always careful not to put the deciding vote to overturn Roe v. Wade on the Court. I think quibbling over the difference between expecting it to happen and wanting it to happen misses the point. If Trump didn’t want it to happen, he could have taken the same care. We’ll see.

What's emanating from your penumbra said...

TDS runs deep. He's not president. Get a life (Adam).

Mark said...

It doesn't matter what reality is.

AA has made up her mind regardless of reality. Against it even.

M Jordan said...

Althouse has it right here. Trump never explicitly said Overturning Justices Only.

But the most honest, straightforward, concise, and moral word Trump ever gave on abortion came during a debate where he said (quoting from memory here): "[Late-term abortion] just isn't right."

That won him many, many evangelical and pro-life Catholic votes. He didn't give an academic argument, a nuanced argument, an anything argument except to say "It just isn't right." Many moral questions would best be answered this way. At some point we can wave off all the fancy legalistic reasoning, the posturing, the preening, the nuance, the fine-print and declare some things as Just Not Right.

gadfly said...

rcocean seriously implies (@12/3/21, 9:58 AM) that Bush41 and Bush43 were liars but Trump always told the truth. Now we can all go back to sleep.

But similarly, we need to seriously look to accept that:

"Donald J. Trump won the 2020 Presidential election against Joe Biden. End of story."

"So, congrats to two-term President Donald J. Trump. All America wishes you well in your retirement starting in 2024."

Norpois said...

Let me add… nothing in the oral argument surprised me, but I think we should focus on one word….”stench”. Since the Taney Court, has any Justice used such language? She could have said “Divisiveness “ or whatever. She said “stench”. With that one word, she was saying….not from the NYTimes or the rostrum of the Speaker of the House…but from inside the Court — that if Roe is overturned the Dem majority (depending maybe on manchin and synema) should and will try to do what FDR tried and failed to do. Ten more justices. Why not? It’s politically essential move fir the Dems. And, one could argue, the Court brought it on itself by deviating from just construing the words of the constitution and throwing it back to congress. That was the original sin, but not originalism.
So… would the Sotomayor move be good or bad for middle of the road, moderate conservatives? Can I suggest it would?
When, since 1955, say, has SCOTUS done anything helpful to middle of the road conservativism? Gore v Bush maybe, but, honestly…was that a strange victory or a strange defeat?
Can anyone give me two examples?
In short, let us consider the possibility that a thoroughly politicized, 30 judge Court dominated by AOC nominees is not bad for moderate conservatives. Because it means the Court loses its legitimacy? What is the case that legitimacy helps conservatism? I used to think it did. But I wonder.
If the court is simply political, why not neuter its real world effectiveness (which is not very strong, per Andrew Jackson) and just let people know…..you need to elect who you believe in. The Supreme Court was meant to settle disputes between states. Brown v the board didn’t desegrate southern schools; the president did that by using troops…troops,…on American soil. Brown was just cover. I support the result, but you have to ask, if the court had never done Plessey, it wouldn’t have to do Brown.
If you want a precedent that only receives stare decisis from left and right, but is not grounded in the Constitution except by inference, look to Marbury. De-politicize the Court by de-fanging it. Put these political disputes back in the legislatures.
Can anyone name any landmark scotus case that helped conservatives or the nation? Dred scott? Disastrous. Japanese internment? Embarrassing. Any takers?

effinayright said...

Howard: "Obviously the religious right are the most susceptible to conspiracy con artists and magical thinking".
*********************

I think Crack would set you straight. He would ask, What about New Age bullshit, and all the other stupid things the Left believes?

For example, what aboutRussia collusion, Pee Pee tapes, the Steele Dossier, homeopathy, acupuncture, osteopathy, naturopathy, Pyramid Power, Gaia, ESP, auras, CRT, "wokeness" spoon-bending psychics, Freudianism, feng shui, rolfing, harmonic convergence, "organic" foods, unprecedented/human-caused "climate change", re-incarnation, herbalism, telekinesis, aromatherapy, ouija boards, seances, chakras, channeling, GMO's as Frankenfood, wymyn's way of knowing, megavitamins, colonics, and----most of all and especially----the Leftist Magical Thinking of all Magical Thinking, Scientific Socialism.

Those are idiotic things YOUR people believe, Howard.

doctrev said...

As Amadeus said, Trump is a better politician than anyone gave him credit for. Regardless of whatever he was like, the fact is that a successful overthrow of Roe vs. Wade will cause his Christian supporters to regard him as some sort of Caesar, if not a messiah. But the status quo being held, despite six "conservative" judges, will cause untold political consequences. I suspect Trump is preparing for this.

By the way, the notion that billionaire Trump could persuade New York supermodels and heiresses- the kind of people he'd fool around with- to get an abortion is INSANE. No one's got that kind of scratch. Such women would know a Trump baby would be a guaranteed meal ticket, particularly in the age of DNA. The fact Trump's ex-wives are friendly to him, never mind his effortless surviving of two impeachments, shows someone of rare incorruptibility. Particularly compared to the pedophile infested DC swamp.

Wince said...

I always thought he didn't have much feeling for how law works.

George S of ABC knew that when he pressed Trump on whether there should be criminal penalties imposed on women for obtaining abortions.

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

Saint Croix - well stated.

" But you can't do that if everybody buries the pro-life impulse as illicit."

tim in vermont said...

Even if you put people you believed were pro-life onto the Court, they would have to read the briefs, hear the argument, contemplate stare decisis, and experience the awesome responsibility from within the new position of unassailable lifetime tenure.

And yet any nebbish who never even so much as drove near a law school could predict RBG's vote *every time*, OK, almost every time, I didn't expect her to find that 2A did apply to private gun ownership and was not restricted to militias, and yet she did.

quizbowla said...

The exchange between Trump and Wallace admits at least two interpretations. First, there's Professor Althouse's interpretation, which assumes that Trump was responding directly to Wallace's interlocution. Thus, the antecedent of Trump's "that" in his third line is "the Court will overturn Roe." Making that assumption, one's yelling at the TV is understandable.

But, the idea that Trump was responding to Wallace directly is really a strong assumption. Trump's first two lines are, paraphrased, "If they overturn Roe, abortion policy will go back to the states." Their consistency leads to the second admissible interpretation, which is that Trump merely restated a third time what he'd already said twice, not particularly caring what Wallace said in the interim. In this interpretation, "that will happen" means "if they overturn Roe, abortion policy will go back to the states" and "automatically" means "no further action by the courts, Congress, president, etc. will be necessary to empower states to legislate."

Indeed, it's often correctly observed that courts don't actually strike down, i.e., remove forever, laws that they deem unenforceable in court. Absent legislative repeal, the laws are still on the books, awaiting another court decision that might render them enforceable again. So, if there are two or three more justices on the court to repeal Roe, all those unrepealed abortion statutes do "automatically" become enforceable again.

The second interpretation is generous to Trump, to be sure. But I wouldn't be surprised if his debate preparation team explained the legal position to him, using words like "automatically," and through an inarftul use of pronouns, he made something sound ridiculous that is a perfectly accurate description of reality.

Balfegor said...

Re: doctrev:

By the way, the notion that billionaire Trump could persuade New York supermodels and heiresses- the kind of people he'd fool around with- to get an abortion is INSANE.

Heiresses and supermodels have their own reasons to be awfully careful about getting pregnant. But while those might be the type of women Trump pursues (but are they really? He mostly seems to marry actresses and models, not heiresses and supermodels) Trump isn't above chasing pornstars, for heaven's sake. I'm sure he's gone after lots of attractive young women in his time -- aspiring models, waitresses, pornstars, whatever. The sorts of people who aren't so rich or famous that you can't buy them off with an envelope full of cash.

All that said, in fairness, as a rich man Trump had a lot of reason to be careful about getting anyone pregnant. Slimeballs like Toobin (a man with so little self-control that he began pleasuring himself during a work-related video conference) and drug addicts like Hunter Biden are perhaps a little more likely to fail to take the necessary precautions up front. Although Toobin wasn't successful in buying off his mistress, and I don't know whether Biden ever even tried.

So while it would surprise me a little to learn that Trump (or his father) really never did wave a wad of cash in front of a girl to induce her to get an abortion, it would only be a little surprise. He's cautious about stuff like drink, after all, and he's more calculating than his reality TV and twitter persona.

gilbar said...

Amadeus 48 said...
Well, except for the progressives. They are struggling with inflation conceptually, so they have decided to pronounce it good. It is the path to riches.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Forget That, Joe Biden's gonna make us ALL BILLIONAIRES!!
Maybe, Even ZILLIONAIRES!!

Leora said...

Re Balfegor - I believe Trump married Marla Maples because she was pregnant.

gilbar said...

Tina Trent said...
And as I said earlier, anyone who thinks they are pro-choice should have to spend a whole shift reassembling the arms and legs and faces and torsos and skull parts of the second trimester babies


Now, BE FAIR!
it's Just an Inanimate lump of cells....
an Inanimate lump of cells, with arms and legs and faces and torsos and skull parts
an Inanimate lump of cells, that cries in pain when it's torn into pieces

Chris Lopes said...


"In short, let us consider the possibility that a thoroughly politicized, 30 judge Court dominated by AOC nominees is not bad for moderate conservatives."


The conservative case for packing the court with liberals.

You just can't make this stuff up. LOL

Howard said...

Fuckin A Right. Sure, the Goop fans amongst the libtard left are highly suggestible magical thinkers but that's not the subject of the post. The "he started it" and "they do it too" excuses don't justify anything unless you are an unmitigated cunt.

tim in vermont said...

What does it matter if he said it, the meme that he said it has been created and will be repeated millions of times.

tim in vermont said...

I can add nothing to the legal discussion, but let me just say here that as very late child among a family of a size usually associated with Irish Catholics, born to a family on USDA handouts, I find Whoopi Goldberg's pronouncements that I should never have been born, because I would only lead a life of suffering, well, insufferable, not literally insufferable, maybe I just mean insufferable without comment.

Saint Croix said...

If you believe it's OK to abort a baby conceived in rape, you aren't pro-life.

Pro-lifers can avoid that question by supporting emergency contraception for rape victims.

I think the pro-choice side is using rape victims to advance their agenda.

There's nothing wrong with contraception. And using emergency contraception to help a rape victim is a blessed thing to do. Full stop.

Mike Petrik said...

@Left Bank
The fact that Reagan and the two Bushes nominated justices who were not reliably anti-Roe is weak evidence of the fact that they "were always careful not to put the deciding vote to overturn Roe v. Wade" on the Court. Instead, there is every reason to believe that they trusted advisors and were careful to avoid presenting an inappropriate litmus test. That said, I give Trump credit for nominating Barrett, even though I'm not sure how she will come out on this case. None of the other Republican primary candidates would have had the backbone. While I do not like Trump, I respect his fortitude and think never-Trumpers are as irrational as the Trump cultists.

DanTheMan said...

>>"Obviously the religious right are the most susceptible to conspiracy con artists and magical thinking".

My favorites, from the left:

A flimsy paper one-size-fits-all 10 cent mask can protect you from a worldwide virus pandemic.

We only have 10 years left to save the planet.

Drago said...

gadfly: "rcocean seriously implies (@12/3/21, 9:58 AM) that Bush41 and Bush43 were liars but Trump always told the truth. Now we can all go back to sleep."

What a sad and pathetic liar you are...and stupid as well given anyone can scroll right up to the top of this thread to see what rcocean actually posted....which, Surprise! Is nothing at all like what you lied-posted about.

But that's our gadfly. A hundred lies a day....probably trying to keep up in volume with Howard's daily projections, as also demonstrated on this thread.

Gahrie said...

If you believe it's OK to abort a baby conceived in rape, you aren't pro-life.

My position is, the baby isn't responsible for the rape, so why should it be executed for it? How can killing the most innocent form of human life there is, make things better? Or even less worse?

I totally understand giving it for adoption immediately, but have we become so degenerate that we consider the most miraculous thing a human can do, to bring a new life into this world, with all of the hope and potential it has, is somehow a punishment?

And before you start accusing me of not understanding rape, I abhor rapists. I would be fine with having sentences of twenty years for the first offence (real time) and execution for repeat offenders. (preferably painful) I consider rape as evil or worse as murder.

Chris Lopes said...

"it's Just an Inanimate lump of cells...."

But enough about Joe Biden.

Ambrose said...

So what if he did. When was the last time the Democrats put anyone on the bench who was not a rubber stamp for their platform? The Democrat justices are the saddest collection of unthinking sure votes the Court has ever seen.

Readering said...

It is worth remembering that both Roe '73 and Casey '92 were the product of courts appointed overwhelmingly by GOP presidents. Roe was a 7-2 court and a 7-2 decision with JFK appointee in dissent. Casey an 8-1 court with same JFK appointee in dissent. Now 6-3 Court. But one constructed on both sides around Roe and Casey (one Casey dissenter remains).

doctrev said...

Balfegor said...
So while it would surprise me a little to learn that Trump (or his father) really never did wave a wad of cash in front of a girl to induce her to get an abortion, it would only be a little surprise. He's cautious about stuff like drink, after all, and he's more calculating than his reality TV and twitter persona.
12/3/21, 3:29 PM

Understandable. In turn, I believe Trump would rather use his considerable personal magnetism to get his wives, current and former, under the same roof. He's always looked after the mothers of his children, and getting multiple wives to get along with each other is considered impressive by many cultures. This would cause obvious religious and political problems, though, so I doubt he'd try it.

Interestingly, while Trump might PURSUE women of a certain class, he's clearly satisfied MARRYING under his coverage. Not by a lot, but it's there. By contrast, most of the world's most powerful men are married to women who are well below billionaire-grade, to put it mildly. Prince Charles, Bill Gates, etc. Then again, given how Prince Charles' storybook marriage ended for him, I can't terribly blame the man (for his choice of spouse, anyways).

Drago said...

Readering: "It is worth remembering that both Roe '73 and Casey '92 were the product of courts appointed overwhelmingly by GOP presidents."

LOL

Utterly meaningless.

Republican appointees are at best a coin flip for ruling with conservative principles.

The lock step dems are 100% always on the left and far left.

Without exception.

Tom Grey said...

He did NOT actually say the words he's accused of saying.
Again, the dishonest Dem media quotes him wrongly.

"Pro-life judges" are not the same words as "judges that will over-turn Roe".

Real journalists and other honest people will see that the words are not the same.

"Fast" and "Quick" are different words, even if they mean almost the same thing.

It's good to call Trump a cad - we need words against womanizers who are male sluts, like W. Clinton and JFK, and it would be good if "cad" became the male equivalent to "slut". Complete with cad-shaming, rather than the more typical usual male admiration for successful womanizers.

Abortion is almost necessary if women are to enjoy promiscuity as much as men. Promiscuity is the word most missing in the already too-wordy abortion debates.

Mike Petrik said...

@Howard
It is risibly dishonest to accuse a respondent of irrelevant whataboutery for providing evidence directly impeaching your assertion that the religious right are more susceptible to conspiracy rubbish than other groups. And your obnoxious name calling exposes your character.

Tina Trent said...

Trump went to the Federalist Society. The gave him their picks. Happens every day. Amy Bryant is a true believer. Kavanaugh, who knows. But they were not his picks. Just as with immigration, where Trump takes his marching orders from AEI, he takes his judicial picks from the Federalists.

None of this is unusual. All of it is political. If you want to drill down, drill down on the Federalist Society. But it’s an error to believe Trump was some sort of free agent. This is politics. This is all horse trading. I’m surprised Mr. Ed isn’t on the Supreme Court.

And one negative consequence of this is that it destabilized the idea the the court itself operates through precedent.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Wallace: Do you want the court, including the justices that you will name, to overturn Roe v. Wade … ? … But what I'm asking you, do you want to see the court overturn it? … Do you want to see the court overturn —

Trump: If we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that is really what will happen. That will happen automatically in my opinion.


If that transcript is accurate, then that was Trump promising to nominate Justices who would overrule Roe v Wade. Saying "that is really what will happen" is a promise, and the pronoun "that" referred to what Wallace had just said: the Supreme Court overruling Roe v Wade. The fact that Trump incorrectly used the word "automatically" doesn't change that.

So I don't know how you can says: "Trump never said he would only nominate Justices who are committed to overruling Roe v. Wade.… Feel free to get angry at Trump." This isn't about my feelings; it's about what Trump said.

Mike Petrik said...

@John Althouse Cohen --
What Trump was saying is that because Roe is incompatible with a principled understanding of the Constitution it will be overturned "automatically" if he can appoint enough principled judges. The word "automatically" obviates the need for an inappropriate litmus test. This is pretty obvious to the fair-minded literate.