Critics say the rushed process represents one of the most stripped-down power games to date by a party that, faced with dismal opinion polls, is arming unelected judges to make up for election setbacks. Even as they contemplate the loss of political power, Republicans stand ready to cement the judiciary for generations.
“It’s like the Republican Party’s dying breath trying to lock down its minority government,” said Christopher Kang, co-founder and chief lawyer of the progressive group Demand Justice. “They are potentially days away from losing not only the White House but the Senate as well, perhaps even resoundingly, and so they are trying to do everything possible to consolidate a supermajority of Trump in the Supreme Court for decades. to come up.
Under Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republicans have built a reputation for ruthless tactics that Democrats struggle to combat. They blocked parts of Barack Obama’s legislative platform and in 2016 refused to grant a hearing to his Supreme Court candidate Merrick Garland, arguing that it was an election year and therefore voters should decide.
In 2018, when Conservative candidate Brett Kavanaugh faced credible allegations of sexual assault, Republicans ignored fierce protests and rushed his nomination. And when liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away last month, Donald Trump acted like a flash to replace her with Barrett, 48, a lifetime appointment that would tip America’s highest court to a conservative majority 6-3 .
It was another example of Republican hardball – bold, shameless, and devastatingly effective.
Comedian Bill Maher told viewers of his HBO show: “If you haven’t figured it out yet, that kind of completely bald premeditated hypocrisy should clear it up.” There is no catching them in an inconsistency. They don’t care because it’s all and only about power. The only rule Republicans play is this: People who win make the rules. Power speaks, the losers walk.
Democrats have cried foul, pointing out that the Senate has never confirmed a Supreme Court candidate so close to a presidential election. They were whistling in the wind. In committee hearings, Barrett dismissed most of their questions, refusing to engage on abortion, transfer or power or the climate crisis.
Kang said, “The process was so rushed and she was much more evasive and refused to answer more questions than any other candidate. It was a little shocking, if not surprising, but it shows how little respect Republicans have not only for the Senate, but for the Supreme Court itself. The Republican Party very blatantly treats the Supreme Court as another political branch of government.
Demand Justice called on Democrats to fight back by expanding the court, noting that its size had been changed seven times previously. Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential candidate, has said he will appoint a bipartisan commission to consider the proposals.
Kang predicted, “The Republicans’ attempt to assert their raw partisan political power grab to secure a sixth seat on the pitch, when they already have five, could end up backfiring dramatically and they could. be on the losing side of a 7-6 Supreme Court before they know it.
The 12 Republicans on the Judiciary Committee voted in favor of Barrett. Ted Cruz of Texas has perhaps hailed the “most important achievement” of Trump’s presidency. Democrats have posted posters at their desks of Americans who have benefited from Obama’s Affordable Care Act that they warn Barrett could help bring down.
Democrats also warned that if Trump follows through on his threat to challenge the November 3 election result, he could go to Barrett and other members of the Supreme Court for a final ruling, just like the 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Sang.
Laurence Tribe, professor of constitutional law at Harvard University, described Barrett’s likely confirmation as a “takeover” in every relevant sense of the word, especially in light of President Trump’s open concession that he appointed Justice Coney Barrett in part to ensure his capacity. vote for him if his re-election to the presidency ended up turning on a case the Supreme Court would need to resolve in order to give him a college electoral victory in the face of a national popular defeat.
Trump has appointed more than 200 federal judges, which will likely be his most lasting legacy, whether he serves one or two terms. Critics suggest that the courts represent the last bulwark of the Republican minority regime and that the Barrett episode is clearly indicative of a party that has lost its ideological and ethical anchors and now sees power as an end in itself.
Kurt Bardella, A senior adviser to the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump group, said Republicans had betrayed their claims to be the party of fiscal responsibility, pro-life principles, small government and congressional control.
“When a party diverges from itself on so many issues so many times,” he said, “it tells you that it actually has no moral beliefs or principles that guide it. Only the pursuit of power.