Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is in tough shape with numerous trips to the hospital in recent times and her tenure on the Court is in major doubt.
To that end, President Donald Trump is preparing for a fight with the Democrats in the Senate to name her eventual replacement, a fight that appears to be approaching.
“The recent hospitalization of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg following a year of health scares has raised the prospect of a Supreme Court vacancy in an election year and a partisan battle royal that would likely surpass the impeachment fight,” Alexander Bolton said in an op ed.
“Liberal activists are already calling on President Trump to keep any possible Supreme Court vacancy open until after the 2020 election, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has indicated he would fill a court vacancy next year, even though he blocked former President Obama’s nominee for most of 2016 after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
“McConnell argued at the time that voters should have a chance to weigh in on the balance of the court.
“Progressive groups say McConnell should apply that same thinking if there is a vacancy between now and Election Day,” he said.
But Sen. McConnell has indicated that the Senate will do its job if Justice Ginsburg is no longer on the Court and vote on her replacement.
“We’re thrilled people are writing about @senatemajldr’s visit to Paducah today. But please be sure to mention his comments have been consistent for seven months and 2020 would not be the same as 2016,” Sen. McConnell’s Communications Director David Popp said.
And if Democrats are counting on a moderate like Sen. Susan Collins to stop the vote she has indicated that is not going to happen.
“My standard on the nomination of Supreme Court nominees remains the same,” Collins said. “As long as the president is in office, he has the constitutional right to nominate. I thought that Merrick Garland should have had a hearing and a vote. Now obviously, senators could have voted against him based on the timing. But to block the nomination from proceeding at all, I thought was wrong.”
Democrats are preparing for a “war” if a replacement for Justice Ginsburg is nominated and it is likely to dwarf the war that Justice Kavanaugh faced.
Justice Ginsburg is as liberal as a justice could be, back every Democrat policy there is and being a staunch supporter of abortion rights.
She has also maintained her class, dignity and decorum, supporting Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, who were appointed by President Trump.
But she has stayed on the court knowing that a Justice appointed by President Trump would be a conservative and against the majority of what she stands for.
“Any scenario where an impeached president is trying to jam through a Supreme Court pick in an election year, in direct defiance of the precedent Mitch McConnell set with Merrick Garland in 2016, would rightly spark a war,” Brian Fallon, the head of Demand Justice, a progressive group formed to fight President Trump’s court picks, said.
“If we had a Supreme Court vacancy this year that Trump attempted to fill, it would be in the middle of an election year but not just any election year. It’s going to be a year in which Trump is likely to have been defending claims against abuse of power and obstruction of justice in an impeachment trial,” said Marge Baker, head of People for the American Way, a progressive group, said.
“Public trust in his presidency is pretty low, so if there ever was a time for the argument that the American people should have a say in this election who the next Supreme Court justice is — as Mitch McConnell claimed after Justice Scalia died — this would be it. So I think it would be very controversial for that reason,” she said.