Supreme Court watch begins

Will she get on the court?

Amy Coney Barrett, 48, Catholic and pro-life, is the likely pick. Does McConnell have the votes? Read analysis here. Several GOP senators say they oppose a vote before the election. Read story here. But don’t believe their weasel words. He also faces daunting logistical hurdles. That story is here. Read my thoughts on Democratic options here.

Arizona’s Senate race is a special election, so the winner takes office when that election is certified, which means McConnell could have 1 less GOP vote after November 30. Read about that here.

How do I know she’ll be Trump’s nominee? He announced on Saturday, September 19, 2020, that the nominee will “be a woman.” Read that here. In April 2019, he said he was “saving” Barrett “for Ginsburg’s seat.” Read that here. So isn’t it obvious?

What are the odds the GOP Senate will confirm her? Perry Bacon, writing for FiveThirtyEight, does an extended and thoughtful political calculation here. Bottom line, he thinks

“Based on what we know right now, here’s the most likely way that the dominoes will fall: Trump chooses a nominee this week. The Senate holds hearings in October, but there is not a vote on the nominee before the election. Biden beats Trump. In the postelection, lame-duck Senate session, 50 Republican senators and Vice President Mike Pence combine for 51 votes to confirm Trump’s nominee, with the 47 Democrats, Collins, Murkowski and Romney in opposition.”

That’s as of September 21, 2020. The situation, of course, is fluid. But if that is indeed how the dominoes fall, the question will then become what form Democratic retaliation will take and how massive it will be, because there surely will be one. The Democrats would lose all credibility with their base for years to come if their voters deliver the White House and Senate to them and they fail to respond with hardball actions of their own.

Whatever the Democrats do should aim to make America’s political life more democratic. It should begin by outlawing Republican anti-voting practices, and revoking the Republican veto over the majority will, which includes preventing a GOP-dominated Supreme Court from strangling Democratic legislative initiatives. That done, there are many more bills coming due on such issues as immigration, guns, taxes, civil rights, and police reform.

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  1. Mark Adams #

    The answer is yes. The Republicans would be dumb bunnies to go against political norms and not vote on a nominee before or after the election. It can take the majority whip saying to three of those in elections get on the band wagon or all our support for reelection is gone. Nothing Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Shumer would not do in the same situation.

  2. Roger Rabbit #

    You’re absolutely right. Every single Republican senator who promised not to confirm a justice in an election year — all 16 of them — will break that promise and become a confirmed liar.

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