Opinions by Richard Bleil
Today we learned of the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, liberal justice in the Supreme Court. And I am exceptionally upset.
Okay, I am not well versed with RBG’s history, or law, so I cannot discuss these aspects of her passing, but I do intend, in this post, to call out the Republican Party and challenge them to do the right thing, and the right thing is to deny Trump and McConnell this replacement to the Supreme Court.
I’m not talking about the Constitution or the law. I’m talking about hypocrisy. Four years ago today, Mitch McConnell had been sitting on an Obama nomination to the Supreme Court for over six months, a full nine months before the presidential election, claiming that he wanted to fulfill the will of the people by waiting to see the results of the next election. This was a violation of the Constitution, and frankly an act of pure cowardice since the Republican party had the majority of the Senate. With the majority, the senate simply could have voted to deny any nomination from Obama if they were truly opposed to Merrick Garland (his nominee). This is, literally, the way in which Supreme Court nominations are supposed to work according to the Constitution. While Merrick was, indeed, a liberal choice, he was also incredibly middle-of-the-road. While waiting for his nomination, even Fox News picked him as the one choice Obama could make that might be acceptable, and ironically, turned around and accusing Obama of some kind of political intrigue by choosing an individual that had a chance to win the Senate vote.
See, with a Republican controlled Senate, Democratic president Obama had to choose a nominee that aligned with his view, but also was a suitable compromise to win the Republican Senate. But Mitch McConnell was such a coward (yes, Mitch McConnell, if you or your representatives are reading this, I, Richard Edward Bleil, am calling you a coward) that he alone blocked this nomination, in violation of his own oath of office, that he alone even refused to allow his own party to vote on the nomination. This allowed Trump to steal the Supreme Court seat and give it to Neil Gorsuch.
I believe in the Constitution, even if Mitch McConnell and Trump do not. Had it not been for this underhanded and, I believe, at least illegal if not treasonous act then yes, the seat would be Trump’s to fill. But now the Republican Party has set a precedence of denying Supreme Court seats to presidents within nine months of the election. With only two months to the election, clearly this falls well within their own precedent. The question, then, is if they will honor the rules they themselves set, or display their full hypocrisy, and probably racism.
My predictions are not going to come as a surprise and likely mirror those of many others. I suspect the White House is having a highly disrespectful jubilant party tonight to celebrate what I believe they view as a “victory” in the passing of RGB. Trump already has a list of potential Justice replacements, so once the partying ends, my prediction is that we will very quickly see a name forwarded for her replacement. My second prediction is that, in a display of excessive hypocrisy, Mitch McConnell will quickly advance the name through the process leading to the vote.
What happens next is the real issue. Trump and McConnell have already shown their stripes; these are just the actions we all know will happen, but what will the Republican Senators do? The problem is that this is a huge political opportunity for the Republican party to tilt the Supreme Court, to an excessive amount, in the conservative direction for many years to come, so it is highly desirable for their party to approve the nomination, but at the same time, it would show extreme bias of party over nation, and potentially racism as well if we assume that one reason McConnell blocked Obama’s nomination is because of race. So, will they respect the precedent set forth four years ago, or show their bias that, frankly, I hope truly jeopardizes their own personal political careers?
What I hope happens is that the Democrats start a full-court press and use this as an opportunity. Whether the new nominee wins the seat or not, I believe that any Republican senator who votes to advance the nominee should face an extremely harsh political battles wherein their decision to vote is used against them to demonstrate hypocrisy, more interest in politics than citizens and racism. I would love to see this vote flip the Senate Democrat with a veto proof majority, turn the house into a veto proof majority and flip the White House. The Republicans have advanced their agenda through dishonorable tricks and potentially treasonous actions, and we need a party to undo the damage that this administration and Mitch McConnell has done to the Constitution, to personal liberties and to the American way of life.