On September 18th, 2020, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in her home after a long battle with cancer, leaving a vacancy on the nation’s highest court. It is the duty of the President to nominate a Justice to take another’s place. However, with just a month before the election, President Trump should not nominate a justice until the American people have spoken.
Led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Senate intends to confirm President Trump’s nominate, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
The fastest any administration has confirmed a Supreme Court Justice was James Brynes, who President Reagan nominated and confirmed by the Senate on the same day. However, confirmations this fast are now simply a thing of the past. Over the last forty-five years, it takes on average over two months to confirm a Supreme Court Justice.
Vetting is necessary to make sure that Justices are being forward with their past and disclosing any debts they may owe, which would lead to undue influence–quite literally owing someone while they are in office. Quick confirmation simply doesn’t all for an appropriate amount of time to properly vet Judge Barrett.
Furthermore, a possible lame-duck senate could be confirming her, while a possible lame-duck president awaits a new Commander-in-Chief.
We need to make sure our Supreme Court Justices are qualified, and we need to make sure that the American public is familiar with who they are, what their views are, and what their story is. Railroading through the confirmation process to promote an agenda simply undermines a process rooted in precedent.
The Senate should not vote until the American people have voted. To push justices through in the fashion President Trump is attempting to is simply un-American and ignores the core values of our nation. Mitch McConnell famously fought against filling a Supreme Court vacancy in an election year.
When President Obama attempted to nominate Merrick Garland, McConnell declined his nomination and put it on hold, stating on the Senate Floor that, “The Senate will continue to observe the ‘Biden rule’ so that the American people have a voice in this momentous decision.”
If these rules applied to Merrick Garland, they should apply to Judge Barrett. Confirming Judge Barrett would be hypocritical and betray the precedent Leader McConnell had already set. Now republicans have stated that no senate of the opposing party has confirmed a justice in an election year. They are playing semantics.
This upcoming election is tight and many Americans are unhappy with Trump’s performance during the Coronavirus Pandemic and may elect Joe Biden. With the current state of our country being so volatile, choosing to blatantly ignore the fact that Donald Trump and many Republican Senators could be ousted is simply not a good idea. November 3rd is drawing closer and closer, and the American People deserve to have a say.