As if 2020 had not generated enough contention in America, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday, September 18. Interestingly, RGB, as she was affectionately called, died on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Rest in peace, RGB. You were an admirable justice, and you have left a strong legacy and following.
Now that we have an opening on the Supreme Court, Americans are even more focused on the presidential race. The last time this happened was … oh yeah! 2016! Associate Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016, and President Obama wasted no time nominating Scalia’s successor. Likewise President Trump says he will nominate RGB’s successor this week.
When President Obama nominated Merrick Garland, the Senate was controlled by Republicans who refused to have a hearing on Garland. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says President Trump’s nominee will have a hearing and a vote. Democrats and LEFT say, ‘That’s not fair!’ It is constitutional and Democrats would do the same if they were in power.
The November 3rd election will not only determine the presidency, but could also shift the balance of power in the House and the Senate. Nevertheless, even if Joe Biden wins the election, the Senate could approve the nominee before the end of the year.
What if the election has to be decided by the Supreme Court like the 2000 election? That would make one heck of a movie! The Court plans to resume hearings November 10, one week after the election.
There was a time in America when the Senate overwhelmingly approved presidential appointments, sometimes even by acclamation. Each of the last four presidents before Trump successfully placed two justices on the Supreme Court. The most contentious debate was over George H. W. Bush’s nominee, Clarance Thomas, the second African-American ever nominated to the Supreme Court. Democrats produced witnesses against Thomas accusing him of sexual misconduct. Thomas was narrowly approved by the Senate 52-48 in October 1991.
Barack Obama’s two nominees, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, sailed through the process unscathed with votes of 68-31 and 63-37 respectively. Both of President Trump’s nominees, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, were critically attacked by Senate Democrats and the LEFT, but managed to squeeze through with 54-45 and 50-48 votes respectively. Associate Justice Kavanaugh’s hearing was particularly vicious with harsh, unfounded attacks about alleged sexual misconduct.
President Trump has promised to nominate a woman to succeed RGB. Democrats and the LEFT have already vowed to fight against whomever Trump nominates. In modern times Republicans have never fought against a nominee by a Democrat president the way Democrats and the LEFT savagely and relentlessly attacked Kavanaugh, his wife and even their little daughters. President Trump’s nominee will likely face similarly savage attacks from Democrats and the LEFT.
What effect will rancorous confirmation hearings have on voters? If similar to Kavanaugh’s hearings, swing voters will likely swing away from uncouth attackers.
In the meantime, Trump and Biden are presumably preparing for their first debate, Tuesday, September 29, in Cleveland, OH, moderated by FOX News’ Chris Wallace. Many people are anticipating a hitch in the debates. House Speaker Pelosi has already counseled Biden not to debate. Many on the LEFT have expressed serious concerns about Biden’s ability to debate face to face without a teleprompter or ear monitor. Hopefully, we’ll see the candidates debate face to face.
Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Starkville, MS. You may contact him at PJandMe2@gmail.com.