September 28 2020
Despite Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dying wish to wait until the next presidency before her seat is replaced, the fight to push forward a new Supreme Court Judge under Trump’s presidency was immediately underway, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declaring that President Donald Trump’s nominee would receive a vote on the Senate floor two hours after the announcement of Ginsburg's death. With just six weeks left to go before the US election and early voting already in progress in states across the nation, it is an unprecedented rush to fill a seat. So how could this historical nomination process play out?
Democratic Objection: Democrats immediately raised opposition to appointing a justice almost 45 days before the election, citing the Republicans’ blockade of Obama nominee Merrick Garland about nine months before the 2016 election as a contradictory measure. In an impassioned speech, former presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) accused Republicans of trying to “ram through” a nomination, and lectured Ted Cruz (R-TX) on his move to block a resolution honoring the late justice because it included mention of her last wish. However, due to the fact that Republicans currently hold the majority of the Senate (as they did in 2016 when they blocked Obama’s nomination), calls to hold the GOP accountable for their previous stance will only change the outcome of the nomination if heeded by Republican senators.
Majority Obtained: Early on, Democrats placed their hopes on moderate Republicans like Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mitt Romney of Utah to flip the Senate in favor of holding off on a nomination. Collins and Murkowski have already announced their opposition to the nominee, and after days of speculation, Romney announced he would vote in favor of the nominee. Democrats would need two more Republicans, four in total, to break ranks with their party in order to block the nomination.
Nominee Announced: On Sep. 26, President Trump announced Amy Coney Barrett as his third nominee to the Supreme Court. Barrett was a favorite from the beginning, partly due to her willingness to overturn Roe v. Wade and her conservative Christian background but also because the president promised that he would replace RBG’s seat with another female justice. Barrett delivered an acceptance speech in the Rose Garden, accompanied by remarks from president Trump. Sen. Lindsey Graham announced that hearings will start on October 12th, aiming for a vote on October 22nd.
Where She Stands: Coney Barrett has been hailed as Ginsburg’s ideological opposite. She believes that abortion is “always immoral," and has voted twice in favor of upholding restrictions to abortion access. She is also opposed to gay marriage, previously signing a public letter which stated that “marriage and family founded on the indissoluble commitment of a man and a woman." She has been linked to People of Praise, a Catholic religious group that chooses to rely on "male leadership at the highest level of our community" and believes that "the husband is the head of the family." Barrett has previously stated that her personal views will not affect her duties as a judge.
RevNow will continue to provide updated coverage on the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, and other events related to the 2020 election, on our Instagram @revnowmagazine.
This article is the second piece of a two-part article series about the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the race to nominate a new justice. Click here for the link to the first part of the series, where RevNow honors the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg through a photo gallery of her life.
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