Give ’em the Judge then Vote their A*ses Out!

supreme court building
Photo by Claire Anderson on Unsplash

The consensus among Republicans is that Trump has a right to select a judge to replace Ruth Bader Ginsberg and it is legal for the Senate to confirm the judge as soon as possible.

Even Ruth Bader Ginsberg agrees. “There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the president stops being president in his last year.”

But she said that in 2016 about Barack Obama and his pick, Merrick Garland, who the Republicans wouldn’t even deign to interview 11 months before the presidential election.

There is legal and there is fair.

The Republicans were singing a different tune in 2016. It was all about “let the voters have a voice!” when the election was nine months off. Early voting for the 2020 election started the same day Ruth Bader Ginsberg died. According to Mitch McConnell, the Grim Reaper himself, they plan to confirm the justice before election day on November 3.

Good for them. Donald Trump will have given the Christian right their third Supreme Court Justice and the courts are well packed, so they have less incentive to vote. At the same time, many Americans are up in arms about the Republicans “stealing” the seat and changing the rules back and forth to favor themselves. After all, would you do business with anyone who started with one set of rules then later changed them so they would benefit at your expense?

“But they gave us a clear mandate in the 2018 elections!” the Republicans insist.

Yes, the Senate Republicans gained two seats in 2018. But in the biggest voter turnout for a midterm election since 1914, the Democrats gained 41 seats in the House of Representatives, plus seven state governorships, control of at least 350 state legislative seats, and control of six state legislative chambers. That doesn’t sound like a mandate to me.

woman holding sign “Grab em by the Midterms.”
Photo by Mirah Curzer on Unsplash

Here are the Republican Senators up for re-election in 2020:

Dan Sullivan (Alaska)

Tom Cotton (Arkansas)

Martha McSally (Arizona) (appointed 2019)

Cory Gardner (Colorado)

Kelly Loeffler (Georgia) (appointed in 2020)

David Perdue (Georgia)

James Risch (Idaho)

Joni Ernst (Iowa)

Mitch McConnell (Kentucky)

Bill Cassidy (Louisiana)

Susan Collins (Maine)

Cindy Hyde-Smith (Mississippi) (appointed 2018)

Steve Daines (Montana)

Ben Sasse (Nebraska)

Thom Tillis (North Carolina)

James Inhofe (Oklahoma)

Lindsey Graham (South Carolina)

Mike Rounds (South Dakota)

John Cornyn (Texas)

Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia)

In addition, Pat Roberts (Kansas), Lamar Alexander (Tennessee) and Mike Enzi (Wyoming) are retiring and their seats are up for grabs.

Except for Susan Collins, all of the above have supported voting for confirmation of a new justice. See their quotes here.

“Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have the right to do and what is right to do.” Potter Stewart, U.S. Supreme Court Justice

scales of justice
Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

The way most of the Republicans totally backflipped on their reasons for denying President Obama a Supreme Court judge may be legal, but are they ethical and fair? I think the American people value fairness and balance. Fair would be waiting to see whoever won the Presidential election and leave the choice of justice to him. If Trump wins, the Republicans would be able to fairly confirm their justice. In their own words, that mandate should be key.

Besides Mitch McConnell, who is a moral lost cause, the worst offender is Lindsey Graham. He is the head of the Judiciary Committee, which will nominate the next justice. On October 8, 2018 he promised the audience at the Atlantic Festival:

“If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump’s term, and the primary process has started, we’ll wait ‘till the next election.”Jeffrey Goldberg, the interviewer, confirmed it was on the record. “Hold the tape!” Senator Graham insisted.

Lately he is saying the way the Democrats treated Kavanaugh in his Supreme Court confirmation hearings ruined that for him. It’s hard to forget his ugly rant, but does he think we can’t look back and see that happened the month before?

“I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president,..For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.” Ruth Bader Ginsberg 2016

Democrats need to pick up four seats to control the Senate. Or three if the new Vice President is a Democrat. The Republicans have shown time and again they don’t play fair. The dying party, already full of self-inflicted wounds, seems ready to fall on the sword for this third Supreme Court justice. They’re salivating over the courts potentially taking away civil liberties we have gained over generations. Even if they lose re-election, they will leave behind a dominant conservative court. Whether it’s before or after the election, they seem determined that Donald Trump will get his justice. (As in judge; the other will have to wait.) And it’s legal.

There’s not much to be done to avoid it. Amy Coney Barrett seems like a nice person, and you have to admire her for handling seven children, two of whom are adopted and one with Down’s Syndrome. She is known to be a religious conservative who is anti abortion and anti LGBT. Not exactly an even exchange for Justice Ginsberg, a progressive human rights advocate .

Lindsey Graham has scheduled the hearings for October 12. Mitch McConnell hopes to have the vote before the November election. Democrats can only rile up the American people about the unfairness of it all, not to mention the threat of overturning a lot of the progressive legislation of the last half century or more.

“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” Ruth Bader Ginsberg

Take back the Senate, with a vengeance. And take back the White House.

Once the Democrats are back in power, I propose 18–20 year term limits for the Supreme Court starting with the Fall 2021 session. This would clear out Justices Clarence Thomas, a 72 year old staunch conservative, and Stephen Breyer, an 82 year old Clinton appointee. The rest are all under 71 and have served less than 15 years. By giving the new president two positions to fill, this would even out the court to a 5–4 conservative bent instead of 6–3. It also seems fair, since the two outgoing judges lean opposite directions. The founders never envisioned that justices would live to be 90 years old or more. I am no expert, but the alternate idea of packing the court with 15 judges seems like a harder sell to the American people at a time when we are so divided.

The task now is to get through the election and whatever weapons of destruction the president and the Republican party throw out, win back the Senate and the White House, then conquer the virus so we can get back to a normal life. Enough of the Death party. Enough of minority rule.

Just vote.

sign R.I.P. RBG
Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash




Mary Morrison is an itinerant traveler and super procrastinator who published her first book at age 68.

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Mary Morrison

Mary Morrison

Mary Morrison is an itinerant traveler and super procrastinator who published her first book at age 68.

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