Day 1,338: Height of hypocrisy: GOP will try to jam through Ginsburg replacement before election
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Saturday at the age of 87. She was, as Chief Justice John Roberts called her in a statement honoring her work, “a tireless and resolute champion of justice.” A stalwart of the court for 27 years, RBG fought off decades’ worth of health issues— cancer, heart trouble, falls — but succumbed to her latest battle pancreatic cancer.
With just 46 days until the 2020 election, Republicans are already scrambling — before statements mentioning her passing are even dry — to get the seat filled before then.
Of course, when Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016, nine months before the 2016 election, Republicans steadfastly refused to even hold hearings for Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, arguing that a seat should never be filled during an election year. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”
Donald Trump is already readying the nomination for Ginsburg’s replacement.
McConnell has already justified Trump’s choice getting a vote with some dizzying bullshit logic related to Republicans keeping promises and “opposite-party” presidents, as if the Constitution contemplates such absurd arguments. His hypocrisy and disdain for democracy are as apparent as ever.
For Trump and McConnell’s plan to fail, and a nominee to get voted down (or not receive a vote at all), the GOP would have to see at least four members of their caucus do what they so earnestly did to Obama and Garland four years ago.
There’s also the possibility that the GOP uses the seat as leverage for the election — as they did in 2016 — and then fill it during the lame duck session, before the new Senate is sworn in on January 3, in the event Trump loses or the Democrats win enough seats to flip it blue.
Letting anyone but the democratically-elected president on January 20, 2021 fill Ginsburg’s seat would be the height of hypocrisy. It would also fall in line with everything Republicans have done for decades.
1,338 days in, 124 to go
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