Monday, September 21, 2020

The Amazingly Persistent Myth of a Non-Political Supreme Court

 From Daniel McCarthy at The Spectator:

The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a terrible blow to Democrats, but there is one important comfort — the principled arguments they made in 2016 after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia prevail.

Democrats insisted that the Scalia vacancy should be filled swiftly by President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, but the Republican-controlled Senate refused to hold hearings. Their pleas were not in vain, however, and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has now been persuaded by the logic and compassion of the Democrats’ case — and this time the president’s nominee will, probably, get a speedy hearing. It took four years, but Democrats will get the process they wanted.

Is this too soon? Just remember, as Democrats dredge up examples of Republicans in 2016 saying an election should intervene before filling a Supreme Court vacancy, that the Democrats are guilty of the same moral crime with which they would charge the GOP. They can’t say one thing about Garland and another about Trump’s nominee.

There are in fact plenty of examples of Supreme Court justices being nominated and confirmed with an election on the horizon. And there is even precedent for a president who has been defeated to make Supreme Court appointments just after an election, too, in the lame-duck period before the new president and Congress take office. After John Adams lost the election of 1800 to Thomas Jefferson, he pushed through as many judicial appointments as he could, and that included making John Marshall the chief justice of the Supreme Court. Marshall is all but universally revered today — not least because his decisions established the very principle of judicial review. The court matters today in large part because of the appointment of Marshall in circumstances not altogether unlike those that might emerge after November 3, if present polling that shows Trump losing proves correct. (Read more.)

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2 comments:

Sansa said...

Whoever Trump nominates will face harsh critism. I fear the other side will tarnish her name.
What Kavarnagh was put through will be nothing compared to what this nominee will be put through.

elena maria vidal said...

Indeed.