Comments (72)
No. 1-29
Jojo
Jojo

As I posted in another forum earlier:

RBG should have anticipated that McConnell and Trump wouldn't stand by whatever was said in the past. Wishes are swell but you'll still need $3 with your wish to get a cup of coffee.

What RBG should have done when her MD's told her the end was near and there was little hope was to get herself put into a medical coma that would have kept her technically alive until Jan 21, 2021. Too late now.

numike
numike

One way for Democrats to make clear they will not tolerate Republicans trying to fill this seat in advance of the election would be for them to pledge that, if they take the White House and Senate in November, they will increase the size of the Supreme Court to 13 justices.

The number of justices on the court is set by federal law, not the Constitution. Since its beginnings, it has ranged from having between five and 10 members. Since the 1860s, it has remained at nine.

Bam_Man
Bam_Man

Election impact = one less person voting for Biden - but only if mail-in voting is not allowed.

Quatloo
Quatloo

Almost every politician in Washington these days is unprincipled. It is not principle that matters to them, it is political power. There used to be at least the need to appear like one had principles, but that is no longer true. This blatant partisanship is not good.

If Biden is elected (which seems likely), Democrats will likely have no hesitation in packing the Supreme Court by increasing the number of justices. This is similar to what was done in the U.K. with the House of Lords.

Each one of these steps further erodes trust in the system, though trust has been deep in the basement sub-floor for quite some time now.

Maximus_Minimus
Maximus_Minimus

I don't venture to guess what the election impact would be, but in a sane, intellectually viable society, it would raise the question about the wisdom of geriatric, death-bed judges issuing judgements impacting national policy.
Even a pope decided to retire before being called away.

Sechel
Sechel

Zero impact for Trump. No undecideds. McConnell will not vote until after Nov 4th. This will galvanize women and liberals who weren't active onto voting. It could tilt the Senate Democratic for sure. The surprise will be voters who say out and now realizing the election matters.

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

I would suggest that is the effect of the election on the appointment that is key here, and not vice versa.

The appointment will be fast-tracked. If the Democrats take the Senate, they will never confirm a Trump appointment.....not after what McConnell did to Obama.

Felix_Mish
Felix_Mish

Say, here's an idea: Pack the supreme court, but don't pussy-foot around. Add 990 more justices. That way the court would be much more representative of the nation. Which is what's wanted, right?

Mish
Mish

Editor

Sue Collins chimed in - See addendum
I got this one correct

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

I have become really interested in this process of how politics has influenced the Supreme Court....and not only that, but the district and appeals courts.

None of this behavior is new.

Eisenhower was a Republican and LBJ was a Dixiecrat...but they worked together to give us Warren. Without Warren there would have been no Brown decision....no Roe.
Justice Felix Frankenfurter said privately that the death of Warren's predecessor, Chief Justice Vinson, was the first evidence he ever had as to the existence of God. A Vinson court would never have upheld Brown.

Eisenhower appointed five Supreme Court justices, and Johnson's Senate confirmed them all.

But LBJ had a falling out with Eisenhower, and after the 1960 election, he tried to block any lame duck Eisenhower judicial appointments by passing S. Res. 334. As a result, Kennedy got to appoint over 120 federal judges...one of whom was a young female named Sarah T. Hughes. Before Roe was a Supreme Court Case, it was her case, in district court in Dallas. Hughes was enshrined in history by this photo.

Sechel
Sechel

It would be incredibly stupid for Trump to announce his nominee before November 4th. I assume he will. The candidate will clearly be anti abortion. Woman ir not most women are pro choice. I think this will blow up in Republicans face, but since there are 53 I assume they will get it done during the lame duck session. It will change the court for decades.

Mish
Mish

Editor

Wish Denied

Supreme Court justice Ruth Ginsburg died Friday Evening due to complications of metastatic pancreas cancer.

Just days before her death, as her strength waned, Ginsburg dictated this statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera: "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."

Ginsburg's death gives Republicans the chance to tighten their grip on the court with another appointment by President Trump so conservatives would have 6-3 majority. And that would mean that even a defection on the right would leave conservatives with enough votes to prevail in the Obamacare case and many others.

At the center of the battle to achieve that will be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In 2016, he took a step unprecedented in modern times: He refused for nearly a year to allow any consideration of President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee.

Back then, McConnell's justification was the upcoming presidential election, which he said would allow voters a chance to weigh in on what kind of justice they wanted. But now, with the tables turned, McConnell has made clear he will not follow the same course.

McConnell to Allow a Vote

60 Minutes Comments

Statements From the Supreme Court

Statement From Trump

Obligation or Hypocrisy?!

We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices. We have this obligation, without delay!

Where was the "obligation" in 2016?

If there was no obligation then, there is no obligation now. There is however, massive hypocrisy.

But if Democrats were in  power now, would they do the same? Of course!

This is politics as usual except Republicans stepped up the hypocrisy and tactics in 2016 that both sides will now use from here on out.

Election Impact?

The election impact is not easy to ascertain. Consider things from the point of view of those with the following beliefs:

  1. Those who dislike Trump but wants abortion curbed. Many Catholics fit in this group. 
  2. Those who likes Trump but are also pro-choice.
  3. Independents leery of Trump and Obama.
  4. Pro-gun advocates who have come to dislike Trump. 
  5. Those who want some gun control but otherwise like Trump.
  6. Trump could nominate a woman.

I suspect that nets out to a small plus for Biden but it could easily go the other way especially if Trump nominates a woman.

Perhaps the key is #3, those genuinely sick of Trump, but not liking Biden either. Will they see this as a power grab or will they like Trump's appointment?

Cross Currents

The election impact may also come down to the appointment itself. Will it be before or after the election? 

If before, Trump would do well to pick a moderate. 

A radical right pick may not even win confirmation. The Senate is in doubt and a radical pick could inflame the election, perhaps cost Republicans the Senate, or even the election if the impact on point #3 above is greater than I assume.

538 Chimes In

I wrote the above before reading the 538 take What Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Death Could Mean For 2020 And The Supreme Court

I added point 6 above "Trump could nominate a woman" after reading 538. I missed that idea and it could be huge.

538 has a discussion similar to mine but I strongly disagree with their take on Sue Collins.

GOP incumbents like Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine may be faced with the choice of irritating GOP voters if they oppose a Trump pick or irritating more moderate voters if they back someone who is viewed as too conservative. This is a particularly acute issue for Collins, who is struggling in her reelection campaign in part because she backed Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.

538 has this backwards.  Where is the GOP going? Will they vote for the Democrat if Collins votes against Trump's nominee.? 

I fail to understand how 538 can fall into the "appeal to base" trap. 

Collins needs to pick up independents and swing voters not the base. She has every incentive to stand up to Trump.

Impact on the Nation?

The impact on the nation could be extreme or nonexistent. This depends on Trump's choice, whether it passes the Senate, what happens to future justices and appointments etc.

538 also picked up on this point.

If there are six GOP-appointed justices on the Supreme Court, law in America could fundamentally move to the right . This is the most important implication, even if it is not the most immediate. If Trump is able to appoint a justice who is similar in ideology to Neil Gorsuch and Kavanagh, his first two picks, it seems likely that abortion and affirmative action could be severely limited in the future, the Affordable Care Act overturned and a host of other conservative rulings issued. That is not guaranteed, but seems quite possible. 

Trump and Republicans putting another justice on the bench either pre or post-election, in the case that he Trump loses, is also likely to trigger an aggressive Democratic response that could have long-lasting implications. Democratic activists were already floating the idea of increasing the number of justices on the Supreme Court to make up for the Garland seat, and I would expect so-called court-packing ideas to accelerate if Trump puts another conservative justice on the court before or right after he loses a presidential election.

This will be the subject of much discussion. But Trump's two previous appointments were both moderate and reasonable to good picks as well. 

Those picks were the best things we have from Trump in 4 years. Perhaps he makes another good choice, or perhaps he picks a radical to spite Democrats after the election. 

If the latter, would a radical even win acceptance? 

There is too much speculation here and too many factors other than to suggest it's best wait until we see Trump's selection and whether it will be before or after the election and if it is successfully rushed through.

Addendum - Sue Collins

 Update #2, Lisa Murkowski, Chuck Grassley, Mitt Romney

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski said she would not vote for a justice ahead of Inauguration Day.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley was Already on Board but not recently.

If so, all it takes is Romney and I would call that likely. Rand Paul could also do it or perhaps someone we have not thought of.

If this is accurate, I called it correctly. 

Severe pressure was on senators to delay, not get it done. 

Once it gets to 51 opposed, a whole bunch of cowards may then join the parade. 

Mish

Webej
Webej

Inconceivable that a justice makes this much difference -- shows how the system has gone off the rails. In any other country the public would hardly be aware of such an appointment. Abortion and many other things are simply settled/changed by legislation. The fact that there are so many issues that depend on court rulings instead of legislation only underscores how completely dysfunctional the whole system is.

FactsonJoe
FactsonJoe

Romney will be voted out in 2024 in the Republican primary if he stops the Supreme Court nomination from getting confirmed so the question is does Romney want to sit in Senate until 2030 or 2036.

Collins playbook is to initially be hesitant but then vote for the pick like she did with Kavanaugh and the independents who started hating her for Kavanaugh are not going to stop hating her if she stops this so the only chance for Collins to be re-elected is to motivate enough Republicans to go vote in her state and get the same independents she would otherwise get because they are afraid of BLM /Antifa riots.

Trump seems to be leaning towards Amy Coney Barrett but that is a bad idea because she has telegraphed LOUDLY in advance that she would recuse herself if Vatican and Catholic Church has an opinion on an issue and Vatican and Catholic Church are opposed to death penalty and Barrett wrote in a paper called "Catholic Judges in Capital Cases" that because Vatican and Catholic Church are against death penalty she thinks all catholic judges should recuse themselves and Barrett would recuse herself.

Vatican and Catholic Church are also firmly open borders and pro illegal immigration and pro asylum seekers so Barrett would very possibly also recuse herself or vote with the Supreme Court's liberals on border cases, immigration enforcement cases, ICE cases, sanctuary city cases, birthright citizenship cases (If Trump would finally do something on birthright citizenship on his 2nd term, NO other country in the world gives birthright citizenship to babies born to ILLEGAL immigrants, CNN and other media just straight up LIE that they do when in reality countries which are listed by CNN as giving birthright citizenship only give it to babies born to LEGAL immigrants and most only to those who have PERMANENT residency or were taken as UN relocation refugees or have been granted asylum or subsidiary protection).

Trump is so adept at doing stupid things and sabotaging himself due to being clueless and doing decisions based on what he feels or what some incompetent adviser tells him that I would NOT be surprised if Trump shoots himself in the foot by picking Amy Coney Barrett since she is woman to replace RBG and will then tweet angry tweets when Supreme Court stops him from doing anything if he gets a 2nd term.

On abortion I hope Trump finds somebody else than Barrett for his Supreme Court pick that would enable Congress/Senate fix some of the outrages created by Roe v. Wade like for example stopping the barbaric abortions USA does in some states until 9 months of pregnancy.
Most civilized countries in Europe allow abortion only until 3 months or 6 moths depending on country if the baby seems healthy and the mothers life is not in danger medically.

The fact that Democrats are abortion-extremists should be obvious for everyone following the Virginia law that allowed late-term abortions until 9 months and that Democrats cheered as victory and Democratic Virginia Governor states the following:

"Northam landed in hot water last week while defending a Virginia law that would lower barriers for third term abortions in the state. The law would allow the procedures with the approval of one doctor, rather than the three that state law currently requires.

“So in this particular example, if a mother’s in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen,” Northam said on WTOP’s “Ask The Governor” program Wednesday. “The infant would be delivered, the infant would be kept comfortable, the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”"

Here is the article about Barrett that everyone should read:

FactsonJoe
FactsonJoe

Obama and Schumer and other Democrats loudly said in 2016 that Supreme Court vacancies MUST be filled in election years so they talked themselves into a dead-end and seem totally hypocritical by now being angry that Trump wants to fill a Supreme Court seat.

Mitch said in 2016 that Supreme Court seats must not be filled in election years when the Senate and Presidency are in different parties hands so he is not hypocritical now to want to name the Supreme Court justice when Republicans have both Presidency and Senate.

FactsonJoe
FactsonJoe

What politicians say and do are two different things.

My prediction:

Grassley will vote to confirm the Supreme Court pick.

Romney will talk cryptically and then vote to confirm the Supreme Court pick and continue as Senator 2024-2030 or 2024-2036 or run in the Republican primary for president in 2023-2024 after becoming a trumpist if Trump gets a 2nd term.

Rand Paul will vote to confirm the Supreme Court pick.

Collins will see-saw and seem like she will vote against but after Democrats hate campaign against the Supreme Court nominee she will say she was disgusted by Democrat tactics and behavior and vote to confirm the Supreme Court pick and get re-elected with Republicans having a large turnout and independents breaking for her because of BLM/Antifa riots and Democrats defund the police obsession.

Murkowski will be the only Republican to vote against.

To not to bring a nominee for a vote and confirm her/him would be STUPID from Republicans because that would really activate Democrats to come out and vote but instead if the Supreme Court nominee being already confirmed will either keep Democrats at home and depress turnout or bring the same number of voters they would have otherwise gotten.

Joe Biden excites NOBODY and was a bad pick from Democrat elite who wanted to keep their grip on power.
Without the Democrat machinations to have everybody line up behind Biden and have Pocahontas to stay in the race with Bernie and Biden to split votes to rob victories from Bernie Sanders he would be now the nominee and have much more excitement from the Democrat base than Joe Biden.

If Bernie would have taken the immigration issue AWAY from Trump by starting to support the wall and saying what he said previously that ILLEGAL immigration is a "Koch Brothers idea" and NOT support it and state there should be NO amnesty that gives US citizenships to ILLEGAL immigrants Bernie would have beaten Trump and gotten elected president.

rhcaldwell
rhcaldwell

It’s not the election that matters; it’s the supreme court majority that matters. RBG is a narcissist who should have resigned in 2009 to prevent this.

BornInZion
BornInZion

She had no mercy on the defenseless, only scorn.

Runner Dan
Runner Dan

"The genius of the United States is that, over, now, the course of more than two centuries, the notion of “we the people” has become ever larger.” -RBG

Not according to the 1619 Project folks. Nothing has changed!

Hopefully RBG is now meeting the legion of little angels she helped create.

bowwow
bowwow

The message to send to those who want one more conservative on the court is to plug your nose and vote for Trump.

Some of the Republican senators in tough races could get more support. Collins is doing the right thing by giving the voters a new reason to re-elect her. She may pick-up votes and she won't lose any.

I think it makes more sense for Republicans to drag-out the process. But, I don't like the court open for business with only eight judges.

Cajundoug
Cajundoug

I hate how abortion is such a dominant issue in the choice of Supreme Court justices. Trump was elected on a populist platform. Conservative judges are usually not supportive of populist economic policies.

wmjack
wmjack

A Supreme Court that follows the Constitution and a court that does not make law would be very refreshing . Such a bastion of freedom and the treating of all equally without regard to sex, color or belief--more in line with MLK's I have a Dream Speech

Casual_Observer2020
Casual_Observer2020

If the court can truly be changed to 11 or more justices, then this can be the tactic going forward. When McConnell used the nuclear button to approve supreme court picks with 51 votes, then this opens the door. I predict the gloves come off.

Six000mileyear
Six000mileyear

Nominating a woman as a Supreme Court Judge severely reduces the chances that Democrats find dirt, such as sexual harassment, that would delay the approval process. Democrats would look pretty bad trying to prevent a qualified woman from achieving such a high position, especially since they approved Kagan. So a slightly right-of center woman would be the fastest path to filling RBG's seat and gaining support from independent voters.

Casual_Observer2020
Casual_Observer2020

Now just two more are needed. Regardless of what happens I now think the Senate and White Houde will flip and we get 11 or 13 justices come 2021. The days of social conservatism are numbered.

Sechel
Sechel

Trump seems to have invigorated his opponents

Stevie
Stevie

I bet she is wishing something a lot different now.

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

I see that Romney is in line...I suspected this would be seen differently by him than the impeachment......it isn't really a referendum on who likes Trump. Utah voters are 57% pro-life. Mitt is a Mormon. 72% of Mormons are strongly against abortion.

I suspect Trump will get his pick on the court....and then lose the election because of it.