The 2016 presidential election has had so much media attention, but very little substance. Even the debates resorted more to mudslinging than political stances on issues. Being a law firm, we thought it would be helpful to provide a list of each candidate on hot legal issues. Pulled from several sources (CNBC, BBC, ProCon.org, USA Today and the Washington Post), we hope this can be a clean, non-partisan breakdown of the issues.
Hillary Clinton has spoken out against “mass incarceration” and mandatory minimum sentences and said that there is still racial bias in police departments that must be addressed. She supports laws prohibiting racial profiling and wants to emphasize rehabilitation over long prison sentences for non-violent drug offenders. She says policies allowing police to “stop and frisk” those they suspect of illegal activity have proven ineffective.
Donald Trump says law enforcement agencies are unable to fight crime because of runaway “political correctness” and says they should be allowed to get tough on offenders. He says police profiling is necessary to prevent terrorist attacks on US soil. He supports “stop and frisk”, claiming the policy was highly successful in New York, even though many experts disagree.
Both candidates support the death penalty.
Freedom of Religion:
Clinton is unclear on whether churches should continue to be tax-exempt. Trump supports the tax exemption.
Both candidates support marijuana as a medical option. Neither have clearly stated their stance on its use recreationally.
Hillary Clinton has responded to mass shootings by repeating her support for tighter background checks and a ban on assault weapons. She denies the Second Amendment is in peril if she is in the White House.
Donald Trump has blamed some shootings on lax gun laws, saying armed people could have intervened and saved lives. He accuses his opponent of wanting to eliminate gun rights and promises his supporters that the Second Amendment would be safe.
Clinton is against raids to enforce existing immigration laws. Trump is for the practice. Trump is also for verification as a mandatory practice for employers. Clinton is unclear on this issue.
Trump believes that Muslims should face extra immigration hurdles while Clinton does not.
Hillary Clinton takes the standard Democratic Party line on abortion. She is against efforts to ban the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy. She opposes state legislation that increases regulation of abortion providers and is in favor of allowing the federal government to provide funding for non-profit organizations that provide abortion services. She has criticized conservative efforts to cut off government funding for Planned Parenthood’s women’s health efforts because they also provide abortion services.
Donald Trump said in March that abortions should be illegal. His campaign quickly backed down from that statement, however, and asserted that the candidate believed the legality of the procedure should be left up to individual states, with any criminal penalties being reserved for abortion providers. He has said he supports an abortion ban exception for “rape, incest and the life of the mother”. He has called for defunding Planned Parenthood. As recently as 2000, Mr. Trump supported abortion rights but has said that, like Ronald Reagan, he changed his views on the matter.
Supreme Court Nominees
One of the most important decisions for the next president is shaping the future of the Supreme Court. There is currently one vacancy, but with several justices of retirement age, the next president could have more than one appointment to make.
Trump’s has released a list of 21 potential nominees to replace Scalia and fill any future vacancies. Hillary Clinton has not released a similar list. She has stated, however, that she wanted justices who would defend women’s rights, back LGBT rights, support Roe v. Wade and reverse the Citizens United decision and its ability to funnel dark money into elections.
Finally, if you are still not sure who to vote for, try the online quiz at http://www.isidewith.com/ – it provides you with an unbiased look at your own stances on issues and which candidate you best match.