July 4, 1776 is a day we commemorate every year for good reason - our freedoms and very existence rests on what happened that day when we signed the Declaration of Independence.

*Editorial: This capitol report was provided prior to President Donald Trump nominating Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Monday, July 9.

July 4, 1776 is a day we commemorate every year for good reason - our freedoms and very existence rests on what happened that day when we signed the Declaration of Independence.

We look to that important document as a guide that indeed “all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights.”

As the Declaration states, our rights come from God and are laid out in the Constitution. We pass laws in Congress to defend these rights and the Supreme Court is tasked with ensuring that these rights adhere to the Constitution.

In just the last few weeks, we’ve seen landmark decisions come down from the court on important freedoms including religious liberty, national security, the right to life, and the right to privacy, among others. President Trump’s appointment last year of Neil Gorsuch to the high court was a critical one as many of these decisions were close.

At the end of the court’s session last week, longtime Justice Anthony Kennedy, a fair-minded justice who was nominated by President Ronald Reagan and served on the court for 30 years, announced his retirement. Justice Kennedy served our country well and we wish him the best.

This is a monumental opportunity for President Trump to nominate another constitutional conservative to the court who will uphold the rule of law and make decisions based on the direction our founders had in mind for this country. They didn’t put the Constitution in place so Supreme Court Justices could ignore it.

There is no doubt that many more landmark decisions will be made in the next few years. It is critically important that the President nominate a highly qualified individual for the seat. It is just as important that the Senate ignore the hysteria that is surrounding the retirement of Justice Kennedy and move quickly on the nomination. I’m sure that this process will be contentious and the outrage machine that has been operating for the last year and a half will only grow louder. However, the future of our country depends on getting this right.

Our founders fought and died for the freedoms that we celebrate again this week. They took the time to lay out what those rights are in both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. We have the opportunity to ensure that those rights aren’t diminished and our freedom is preserved for another generation if this Supreme Court vacancy is properly filled. I pray that those who play a direct role in that process will make prudent decisions with an eye on the preservation of this great nation.