Donald Trump has been elected the 45th president of the United States in a stunning victory following a campaign that took relentless aim at the institutions and long-held ideals of American democracy.
Additionally, Republicans have clinched the majority in the House of Representatives and in the Senate.
The House is one of the two chambers of the US Congress, alongside the Senate.
The major power of the House is to pass federal legislation that affects the entire country, although its bills must also be passed by the Senate and further agreed to by the US president before becoming law – unless both chambers re-pass the legislation with a two-thirds majority in each.
The Senate has several advice and consent powers not granted to the House, including consenting to treaties as a precondition to their ratification and consenting to or confirming appointments of federal judges, other federal executive officials and ambassadors.
With the House of Representatives and the Senate both back in the Republican party’s control, Donald Trump will be able to wield power more freely than any President in a generation.
As the minority in both houses of Congress, Democrats will have no legislative power to block the dismantling of Obamacare, the ban on Muslims or the rightward swing of the Supreme Court.
The stage is now set for President-elect Donald Trump to enact a broad conservative agenda and ensure a Republican Supreme Court for a generation. That is assuming he can work with a GOP establishment he spent most of the campaign attacking.
Some Republicans weren’t even willing to vote for Donald Trump, and few have embraced some of his signature proposals, such as building a wall on the border with Mexico and enacting 35 percent tariffs on Mexican imports from U.S. companies.
Republicans are also sharply divided over matters that include immigration, trade and climate change.
The victory by Republican Donald Trump in the presidential election will likely have an impact that stretches well beyond his four-year term in office. For the first time in decades, the U.S. Supreme Court will go from a majority chosen by Democratic presidents to one likely to have mostly Republican justices for another generation.
With a vacant seat in the U.S. Supreme Court, and two sitting justices in their 80s, Trump’s Supreme Court nominees will almost certainly shape American society for decades to come.
The three oldest Supreme Court justices all support Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion rights ruling that Trump has predicted would be overturned by his court picks.
In the final presidential debate on October 19, Trump made no secret of his plan to appoint conservative Supreme Court justices.
“We need a Supreme Court that, in my opinion, is going to uphold the Second Amendment,” he said of the constitutional right to bear arms.
“The justices that I’m going to appoint will be pro-life,” he added. “They will have a conservative bent.”
The people so far included on the list of Donald Trump nominations are:
- Keith Blackwell
- Charles Canady
- Steven Colloton
- Allison Eid
- Neil Gorsuch
- Raymond Gruender
- Thomas Hardiman
- Raymond Kethledge
- Joan Larsen
- Mike Lee
- Thomas Lee
- Edward Mansfield
- Federico Moreno
- Bill Pryor
- Margaret A. Ryan
- David Stras
- Diane S. Sykes
- Amul Thapar
- Timothy Tymkovich
- Don Willett
- Robert Young
One thing is now certain. Whoever is ultimately appointed to the US Supreme Court will ensure that the US Supreme Court will have a conservative bias. Their position on the Supreme Court will continue long after Donal Trump’s tenure as the 45th president of the United States has ended.
Trump has described himself as the candidate of “law and order”, meaning he’s fan of the police, and not such a fan of protest groups like Black Lives Matter or of efforts to reform the criminal justice system.
How the US criminal justice system reshapes in the years ahead remains to be seen.