Wednesday’s retirement announcement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy sparked strong reactions from both right and left, but the takes from so-called #NeverTrumpers, or ideological conservatives who opposed President Trump in 2016, ranged from “crickets” to eating some much-deserved crow.
Justice Kennedy’s retirement is a good barometer for judging “Never Trumpers.” (Personally, I’m happy to see Trump make another great SCOTUS pick like Neil Gorsuch–assuming he makes such a pick.)
— Matt Lewis (@mattklewis) June 27, 2018
Glenn Beck, noted for mocking Trump in 2016 by dipping his face in a bowl of Cheetos, reiterated his recent jump onto the Trump Train by tweeting that the president “just may become the most important president in my lifetime.”
“Sometimes I love being wrong,” he added.
If @realDonaldTrump appoints 2 or 3 true libertarian/constitutionalists 2 #SCOTUS (@SenMikeLee ?) trump just may become the most important presidents in my lifetime.. – sometimes I love being wrong. If both sides can find our common decency as well, we just may make it.
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) June 27, 2018
National Review editor Rich Lowry (yes, the Against Trump National Review) wrote that Trump “may end up being the biggest boon to constitutional fidelity in a generation.”
It’s funny how life works–Donald Trump may end up being the biggest boon to constitutional fidelity in a generation
— Rich Lowry (@RichLowry) June 27, 2018
National Review columnist David French tweeted about the remarkable unity Republicans can muster when judges are on the line.
Republicans are all over the place on immigration policy, trade policy, and foreign policy. Divisions in the party are deep and real. Those divisions disappear when judges are on the line. https://t.co/GH6tCOC0eG
— David French (@DavidAFrench) June 27, 2018
Lowry and French were not alone in eating crow at National Review …
— Kyle Smith (@rkylesmith) June 27, 2018
“There is only one problem: there is no shot – zero shot – that Trump will appoint a conservative [to SCOTUS],” wrote Daily Wire editor Ben Shapiro in August 2016, a take the conservative commentator was mercilessly dragged for today.
No, Trump Isn’t Going To Save the Supreme Court
Aug 10, 2016https://t.co/apZK9ONl7N
— Curt Mills (@CurtMills) June 27, 2018
Shapiro, to his credit, reiterated a conclusion he had reached after President Trump’s Gorsuch appointment:
As I acknowledged during Gorsuch, I got this one 100% wrong. Obviously. There’s a reason I even put on a MAGA hat during the Gorsuch hearings.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) June 27, 2018
David Frum, The Atlantic senior editor who once wrote an article entitled, “The Supreme Court Isn’t a Sufficient Reason to Vote for Trump,” retweeted a Donald Trump Jr. post about how “awesome” it would be if Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro got the nod. (RELATED: Here Are The Early Favorites For Kennedy’s Replacement)
Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, on the other hand, expressed his wish that “Kennedy hadn’t retired,” because “well, I never!”
I’d probably prefer the jurisprudence of Trump’s pick to that of Kennedy. But given that the debate—or should I say the war?—over his successor is going to intensify an overheated political culture and hyper-partisan political system, I’m inclined to wish Kennedy hadn’t retired.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) June 27, 2018
Anti-Trump writer and former Bush staffer Peter Wehner called for people to not be “reflexively critical” or supportive and to “guard against confirmation bias,” a take retweeted by Mindy Finn, who ran with Evan McMullin as an Independent to try to spoil Trump’s chances in 2016.
Perhaps @mattklewis, but this shouldn’t be complicated. People need to be intellectually honest. Critics of Trump shouldn’t be reflexively critical/supporters of Trump shouldn’t be reflexively supportive. Balanced judgments are key. We all need to guard against confirmation bias. https://t.co/q6FOu2Mt2t
— Peter Wehner (@Peter_Wehner) June 27, 2018
As of this writing, McMullin had not released a comment of his own.
George Will? Well, as of this writing the anti-Trump columnist hadn’t posted a Twitter take on Kennedy’s retirement, but the top tweet of his feed pretty much gave a fair indication of his position: