In an election year that is shaping up to be the most pivotal, consequential and contentious in modern history, the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has raised the stakes exponentially. Democrats, of course, are demanding that the president and/or Republicans refrain from attempting to fill the empty seat on the Supreme Court, while Donald Trump has promised to announce a nomination within the next few days. While it is true that the Republican-held senate did refuse to vote on election-year Obama-appointee Merrick Garland, there are some important differences in the situation and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has stated that Mr. Trump’s nominee will get a vote this year. I can certainly see why the Democrats don’t want the seat filled now, when there is a chance that Joe Biden (or whoever is controlling him) could fill the seat in a few months, and I’ll admit that in their shoes I’d feel the same way, but there are some very good reasons that Republicans should go ahead, hold hearings and confirm Donald Trump’s next nominee to the Supreme Court as soon as possible:
- As Mitch McConnell has explained, in cases where both branches of government were held by the same party, historically, the nomination has been considered and voted upon.
- Even more compelling is this: if the shoe were on the other foot and the situation were reversed, is there anyone anywhere in America who would care to assert that the Democrats would not push their nomination through? I didn’t think so. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” should not be applied in a political situation where the “others” are determined to seize power at any cost and have already clearly indicated what they intend to “do unto you.” (See next point.)
- The Democrats have already promised that if they gain control of the White House and the Senate they intend to (among other things) “pack the court” by nominating and confirming a few more Supreme Court justices to ensure a more or less permanent liberal majority. If they’re going to “pack to court,” why are they worried about one more Trump appointee? Just throw in a few more activist judges when you start packing!
- “Over our dead bodies. Literally.” (That is a quote.) Quite a few Democrat activists are warning that if Trump and the Republicans “even TRY” to fill the seat before the election that they “will burn the entire f—ing thing down.” Another tweeted: “We’re shutting this country down if Trump and McConnell try to ram through an appointment before the election.” The Democrats are threatening violence in the streets if the president and Senate dare to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities. Threats of violence to force a political outcome is nothing less than terrorism and we must not acquiesce to it. Of course, this is a familiar tactic in the Democratic playbook. They are already threatening to “burn the entire f—ing thing down” if Joe Biden is not elected.
- But most important of all, the Democrats have clearly warned that their plan for victory in this election relies heavily on a mountain of mail-in ballots (only God will know how many will be fraudulent) and a tsunami of lawsuits. More than 600 Democratic lawyers are waiting in the wings to attempt to litigate Joe Biden to victory. Many, if not all of those lawsuits will end up at the Supreme Court. We are close enough to a civil war now; having a 4-to-4 split on the highest court in the land as it tries to settle this contentious election is simply begging for bloodshed.
Justice Ginsburg reportedly told her granddaughter that her “most fervent wish” is that she would not be replaced until “a new president is installed.”* With all due respect, it isn’t the late Justice Ginsburg’s seat to bequeath, nor is the decision up to Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer. The Constitution lays that responsibility upon the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the Senate. Donald Trump is still the president and he will be, God willing, until January 20, 2021.
And if God is merciful to us, Donald Trump will still be president on the 21st.
It has been very encouraging that many Republicans finally seem to be waking up to the situation. The Democrats are playing to win–at any cost–and if they win the consequences for this nation will be grave. They have been playing hardball for decades. It’s long past time that Republicans woke up and got in the game.
*Note: she was not hoping that it would happen after the election is over, but only after Donald Trump is out of the White House.. I suppose if he should be reelected, she hoped that SCOTUS would operate for four more years with only eight justices.