Conventional wisdom says it would hurt the President and Republican Senators running for reelection if they push through a replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg who died yesterday. But it’s 2020. Conventional wisdom has failed at nearly every level all year, which may be why President Trump has signaled on Twitter that he will be nominating a new Supreme Court Justice “without delay.”
.@GOP 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2020
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already indicated that he will bring a vote to the Senate floor if the President makes a nomination. Democrats have been aggressively opposing the prospects of replacing Ginsburg with a Trump-appointee since news broke of her death with some going so far as to make threats of rioting should it happen. But as our EIC noted, they’re rioting already and will certainly riot even more when the President wins reelection.
There will be riots no matter what happens with SCOTUS.
President Trump's reelection is going to be the triggering event of the century.
Thankfully, law and order should prevail in the end. https://t.co/VztlzmhZzl
— JD Rucker (@JDRucker) September 19, 2020
Many Democrats have been joined by a handful of Republicans to claim it would be unfair for McConnell to bring a nominee to the Senate after refusing to do so in 2016 for President Obama. He addressed these concerns in a statement that called on history as his reasoning for doing what he did in 2016 and why he intends to act differently in 2020.
“Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president’s Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year,” his statement read.
The Senate and the nation mourn the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the conclusion of her extraordinary American life.
My full statement: pic.twitter.com/NOwYLhDxIk
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) September 19, 2020
“By contrast, Americans reelected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary,” he continued. “Once again, we will keep our promise.”
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From an election perspective, it seems the only one one who seems to be at risk by the move would be McConnell himself. Other Senators will face the Supreme Court question whether a nominee is voted on or not. McConnell holds the power and therefore his reelection prospects would seem to be weakened by the apparent switch in stance. He is currently ahead of Democrat Amy McGrath by double-digits in his Senate race.
As for the President’s prospects, he will likely not see a significant difference in polls whether he nominates someone or not. The open seat on the bench will be an election issue if he does not nominate anyone. But if he nominates someone appealing to both his base as well as swing voters, he may actually see a bump whether that person is confirmed or not. Such a person could be Amy Coney Barrett, a Seventh Circuit Judge sitting on the Federal Court of Appeals in Indiana. She is popular, an originalist, and would be a female taking over a seat previously held by a female.
I'd like to see an originalist like Amy Coney Barrett.
But I'd put 99-1 odds against the nominee being one of the Senators on the list. Not now. Maybe next time.
— JD Rucker (@JDRucker) September 19, 2020
This isn’t the election issue many are claiming it will be. It hurts McConnell, though probably not enough for him to lose his seat. As for the President, the right pick will actually help him get reelected. This is a great move.
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