The Battle in the Senate for RBG’s Replacement is Very Scary

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Trump and his ruthless Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, only need their current majority in the Senate to nominate and confirm a Supreme Court Judge.  Trump has said he will announce his choice for the court by the end of this week, and there are many who speculate but it will be a very conservative woman who has already been vetted. (like Amy Coney Barrett)

If RBG’s vote turns into an ‘anti Roe v wade vote’, the court will be 5-4 against.  We could see an end to abortion rights as we know them, not to mention many other rights the legendary Ginsburg fought for over the decades.

It typically takes months to put a new Supreme Court judge in, but with the election coming in just 40 days from today, the Republicans are going to stuff it through.  Because Republicans control the Senate and its Judiciary Committee, which holds confirmation hearings on the president’s judicial nominees, Democrats are largely helpless in delaying the vote.

Republicans hold a 53-47 advantage over Democrats (including two independents who caucus with the Democrats) in the Senate.  Democrats have threatened Trump with another impeachment in order to stop his nominee from reaching the court, but these are pretty empty threats.  The Dems can only hope to turn some Republicans over to their side, to vote against Trump’s pick for judge.

Two Republican Senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine,  have said they will not support seating a justice before the election. but even if Dems got one more Republican Senator to dissent it would still create a 50-50 tie, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the decisive vote.

So the Dems need to at least flip 2 Republicans, while making sure Collins and Murkowski keep their word, and no Dems switch sides.  Good luck with that.

McConnell was able to halt Obama’s nominee for the court for over 8 months, because the Republicans held a Senate Majority, and there is no more filibuster.  He notoriously refused to hold a hearing for Merrick Garland, who then-President Barack Obama chose to fill Scalia’s seat.  His reasons were consistent, and of course completely disingenuous: “Because it’s an election year,” he would say.

February 16:  Washington Post op-ed with Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa: “Given that we are in the midst of the presidential election process, we believe that the American people should seize the opportunity to weigh in on whom they trust to nominate the next person for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. It is today the American people, rather than a lame-duck president whose priorities and policies they just rejected in the most-recent national election, who should be afforded the opportunity to replace Justice Scalia.”

Just when you think 2020 can’t get much worse, it surprises you again.

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

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