Greetings and Salutations;
This last Friday, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg died, of metastatic pancreatic cancer. The fact that she held on so long is a testament to her strength of will, and her determination. The airwaves have been flooded with details on the amazing path she followed to becoming a Supreme Court Justice, and there are many video clips on Youtube remembering her many accomplishments. She may have been small in stature, but her impact on America was, indeed, Gigantic, and brought equal protection and rights to many groups that had been locked out by the “Establishment”.
Alas, her death leaves an open seat on the Supreme Court, and removes a strong, liberal voice from the court. The current administration wants to pack another American Taliban Right-Winger into the seat, as quickly as possible. Considering that #3 is planning to use the Supreme Court to give him the Presidency, if the vote does not go his way, it makes sense that he is so enthusiastic about getting another unqualified minion onto the court.
I though, have several objections to this, so am going to discuss them a bit.
- The major issue I have is the hypocritical words of the Republicans. In 2016, they raised a big stink over President Obama nominating Merrick Garland to a recently vacated Seat on the Court. Mitch McConnell said that a Court seat should not be filled in an election year, because the People should have a voice…and the new President should choose a nominee. Of course the good, little, soldiers in the Republican Party chanted his words and made them theirs. Because of this, the Supreme Court had an open seat for over 11 months. NOW, though, in spite of the fact that it is only 43 days to the Election, That same Mitch McConnell is saying it is the Constitutional duty of the President and Senate to fill the vacant seat as quickly as possible…and totally walking away from their hard and fast stance in 2016. This is a task which should be consistently handled, and so the precedent set by the Republicans in 2016 should be honored today. As President Obama said “When Republicans refused to hold a hearing or an up-or-down vote on Merrick Garland, they invented the principle that the Senate shouldn’t fill an open seat on the Supreme Court before a new president was sworn in, a basic principle of the law — and of everyday fairness — is that we apply rules with consistency, and not based on what’s convenient or advantageous in the moment.”
- The shortest time it has taken to confirm a Nominee has been 46 days from the time they were named. On the average, it takes closer to 70 days. It is my opinion that attempting to push through an ultra-conservative Justice will not allow adequate time for the hearings to determine their positions and attitudes.
- The Supreme Court should, in theory, reflect the makeup of the country, and, consist of the wisest and most thoughtful Jurists available. Looking at the history of appointments rammed through by this administration, it is painfully obvious that the criteria mentioned mean nothing to this administration. Rather, the only important factors are a fanatical partisanship; a Reactionary view of America; and either the willingness to suck up to the Occupier of the Oval Office, or, hand over large amounts of money to him. I have not done an exhaustive search, but of all the administrations I have looked into, not ONE put a Judge on the bench that the American Bar Association rated as “Not Qualified”. This administration has pushed through several of these people to the Federal Bench, and, appears to be preparing to do the same thing with the SCOTUS. Remember…the people put on the bench today will be making decisions that affect all of us for decades to come.
- By ignoring the rule of precedence, The Republicans have instituted an Arms Race in the Supreme Court. When the Democrats take the Senate and Presidency, it is essentially a done deal that they will expand the size of the Supreme Court…and will likely ensure that the new seats are filled with Strongly Liberal Justices. Now, this is kind of a mixed blessing, alas. When the Republicans take power again, it is likely they will want to add more Conservative Justices. That is the arms race aspect. On the other hand, increasing the size of the Supreme Court is very appealing. Right now, there is a huge backlog of cases before the Court. Adding Justices would allow them to get more of these pending cases dealt with.
- The reality of the world is that America is, in terms of population, country that leans Left-Center. As of the last poll I could find, about 58% of Americans are either Liberal or Left-leaning Centerists. I am of the opinion that the Supreme Court should reflect this. Right now it is a majority Conservative court, and another Conservative will make the Liberal/Centerist point of view meaningless. Right now, there are no limits on how Supreme Court Justices are chosen, and I have to wonder…is this something that should change? I am inclined to change the rules so that the Supreme Court is basically an equal balance of Conservative, Rightest Justices, Centerest Justices, and Liberal, Leftist Justices. If this were to be the rule, it would better reflect the country, and ensure that decisions were likely to benefit both sides equally.
For me, the bottom line is that pushing through a new Justice, in a rush to beat the Election is nothing more than a political hack, and will do a great disservice to the country. We are likely to get a nominee that is unqualified for the Bench, and is motivated more by partisan politics, than an active desire to find the best interpretation of the Law of the Land.
God Help Us All
Be Safe…Wear your mask, and practice good sanitation and social distancing.
Bee Man Dave.