Life isn’t fair. That is just the reality of this situation, and most, for that matter. Whether you think the seat that was opened on the Supreme Court by the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg should be filled before the election or not, the problem with trying to oppose it is that the constitution clearly lays out the President’s power in regards to the high court and the Senate’s ability to move forward with the process. So, in the next month this process will begin and assuming there are at least 50 votes, the woman President Trump appoints will get sworn in. There are examples of SCOTUS justices who have been confirmed in the amount of time it would be before the election. Nevertheless, any idea of precedent seems to have been off the table for both sides since Trump took office.
For me, I’m just happy I don’t have anything publicly on record for back in 2016 when a very similar situation occurred with the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia. The clear difference in that case was an opposing party controlled senate which is why the process was able to be postponed until after the election. But seriously the fact that all of these quotes and clips from both sides top representatives are saying the exact opposite of what they have been saying since Friday is truly remarkable. Those who have been following me know that I can’t stand hypocrisy so you can bet I’ve been just shaking my head all weekend. Anyways, the reason and rationale is on the republicans side so this seat will most likely get filled.
From Joe Biden, and other’s, firm and clear position back in 2016 to Lindsay Graham telling you to use his words against him, it just shows shows the true swampiness of Washington that people describe it to be. Now like I opened with, life isn’t fair and this is an illustration of that. I don’t even really blame anyone for what they had said back then or what they are saying now. Sure, it’s annoying but in this type of written out process you are obviously going to use the rules to your benefit. It’s just the simple fact of the matter that people operate in what is most beneficial for them and they will do whatever it takes to win. It sucks, but it’s also politics and just how we need to accept and deal with the matters at hand. Threatening to go nuclear is not the correct approach, and I think it may be what should scare us more than anything that could alternatively happen.
Republicans have the upper-hand in this scenario because the written law and process is pretty concretely on their side. The problem is that the Democrats will stop at nothing to uphold this appointment and have proposed radical changes to happen if this does go through and the Dems end up winning the general election. The Kavanaugh hearings could be minor leagues compared to what they will try to throw at Trump’s female appointee. It’s possible that what some believe to be an existential threat is greatly exaggerated by their own emotional response.
It’s also a matter of ensuring that the process of confirming a judge is done in full with no corners cut. Republicans believe this can be done.
I’m not going to act like I know the ins and outs of the cases that the high court hears and what necessarily my thoughts are about some of the most controversial cases that they decide on. Maybe another time.
I do think that it is important with the probability of having a contested election in just a few weeks that we have a fully operating court. There are just so many nightmare scenarios that can be played out that would only be made detrimentally worse if there is what could be a split court. Having an even number of justices is a dangerous loose end, regardless of the vote’s outcome. If we decide that the election goes to the high court, then having that decision go to a tie leads only to chaos.
I think most people who follow this stuff had basically the same reaction when they heard the news of RBG’s passing on Friday evening. First, of course, was Rest In Peace to a legend and American icon. Then, the thought was that this is going to get messy. Regardless of if you want to fill the seat or not, it’s just more gas onto the dumpster fire that is US politics. It continues to build up the energy that is geared towards the election. The hypocrisy, the lying, it all just gets ramped up as everyone wants to win. It truthfully brings out the worst in people. I hope, however, that the next few months may also bring out the best.
This seat opening re-lights issues that spring right into the forefront of the campaigns and gives the candidates new attacks and potential policies to champion. I think it’s safe to assume one side will be much more transparent than the other.
I can’t wait to see these hashed out at the debate next week. But at the same time I’m dreading it.