It is fairly well-acknowledged among great leaders that delegating authority is necessary if for no other reason than no leader is an expert in every field. It is also well-known now that Republican front-runner for the presidential nomination is a self-labeled expert in every field and has no need to ever delegate authority. In fact, Donald Trump has made it crystal clear that his most accomplished advisor and trusted counselor is himself. However, there is one area where the Donald says he will delegate authority as president and like everything else the wrestling and reality show celebrity promises to do, it is catastrophically insane and dangerous to the American people and the U.S. Constitution.
With all the absurd furor over the idea that a sitting President with 9 months left in his term is forbidden to nominate a judge to sit on the Supreme Court, it was little surprise that Donald Trump finally weighed in with an even more bizarre plan than just prohibiting President Obama from doing his job. However, unlike everything else Trump proposes, as president he will not be involved in deciding who to nominate as a Supreme Court justice.
Instead of doing what the Constitution mandates, Donald Trump will outsource the job of nominating a lifetime jurist on the nation’s highest court to the ultra-conservative belief tank, the Heritage Foundation. In essence, Trump will authorize teabagger Jim DeMint to consult with the Koch brothers to determine what kind of religious and corporate extremist gets to sit on the High Court. DeMint is legendary as a religious right, anti-government extremist which is why he was the perfect choice to head up the Heritage Foundation and a devotee of the Koch brothers.
Trump said at a press conference on Monday that he has already “authorized the Heritage Foundation to work on the list of names” they want to sit on the Supreme Court. Think Progress labeled Trump’s announcement as “revealing an unusual detail” about how he determines which names will be on the list of prospective jurists, but it is not unusual; it is abominable and terrifying at the same time. The only thing unusual about Trump’s announcement is that he is delegating that authority to an organization not called Donald Trump.
What Trump is proposing in outsourcing the Executive branch’s constitutional duty to the Heritage Foundation is effectively giving the Koch brothers authority to decide the makeup of the Supreme Court. There is very little, if any, difference between the Heritage Foundation and any of the Koch brothers’ network of conservative organizations including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Americans for Prosperity, State Policy Network (SPN), Cato Institute, and Manhattan Institute to name but a few. The Koch’s also fund nearly all of the evangelical anti-women’s rights organizations that Heritage supports.
For the uninformed, Heritage Foundation fits the description of a stridently “conservative ‘belief’ tank” and is notorious for “its unorthodox approach to mathematics.” The ‘belief tank’ is led by a raging “teabagger” and former right-wing extremist senator from South Carolina, Jim DeMint. DeMint is a madman, so it is no surprise that the equally mad Trump met with him last week in Washington D.C.; likely to officially authorize Heritage to begin the decision-making process in who the Kochs want on the Supreme Court.
It is not a surprise Trump would demure to the Heritage Foundation to choose Supreme Court justices. Like Trump, Heritage is in the business of hating anything remotely close to adhering to the Constitution, and hews closely to the Koch’s abhorrence of taxation and the federal government.
Heritage, under DeMint, adamantly opposes equal rights for LGBT Americans and is renowned for defending Republican states passing religious laws legalizing discrimination against Americans; especially gays who want to marry. The organization is also an ardent opponent of all Americans having access to healthcare and sunshine; Heritage is an active player with ALEC in Republican states crusading to kill off renewable energy and environmental protections.
Trump certainly likes the idea of Heritage choosing SCOTUS justices because they comport with his opposition to immigration, and his racism towards Latinos. In fact, a little over two years ago the Heritage Foundation released a universally criticized report claiming that “immigration reform will cost decent real Americans” an astonishing $6.3 trillion; the report’s numbers were quickly debunked by nearly everyone. One of the report’s co-authors resigned his Heritage position after revelations surfaced that “his immigration dissertation was premised on the idea that Latinos were far less intelligent than whites.” It is little wonder Trump embraced an organization that is fundamentally as bigoted and racist as he is and authorized them to stack the Court with equally bigoted and racist justices.
Some have questioned why Trump would ever trust an organization that has proven for well over a decade to be devoid of economic acumen. The organizations chief “economist” is a former newspaper columnist and, like the libertarian Kochs, an anti-tax activist with no experience or education in the field of economics.
The Koch-affiliated group also directed its panel of “economic experts” to release its projections assuring Americans that the Bush tax cuts for the rich would inspire massive job growth and create an economic Utopia for all Americans. By now, most Americans understand that those projections were contrary to the reality of trickle down’s devastation on economy. Still, despite Heritage’s record of idiocy and hate for every and anything that benefits the American people, Donald Trump will cede presidential authority to the belief tank to choose Supreme Court Justices.
It is not unusual for a president to consult with legal experts prior to naming a nominee for the Supreme Court; even a Constitutional scholar like President Obama met with several groups’ representatives before naming Merrick Garland. However, Trump informs that he already outsourced the task to one extremist partisan organization funded by the two men most anxious to see the federal government dismantled.
A couple of pundits opined that maybe Trump is appealing to that part of the GOP base that is fearful he lacks the conservative purity credentials necessary for their support and funding. That may well be the case. But it is more reasonable to assume that he is sending a signal to curry favor with the Koch brothers and their libertarian cabal that he will give them, through the Heritage Foundation, authority to create the Supreme Court majority they need to fully realize their libertarian vision; especially now that one-half of their destructive duo left the Court before they could finish demolishing America.