Opinion| As Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg battles to recover from a recent bout with lung cancer she has missed oral arguments every day since they began, for the first time in her long tenure on the high court.
This has the White House laying the early groundwork for another Supreme Court nomination. It’s admittedly a delicate situation due to the reason there may be an opening, but President Trump has seen his nominees savaged by Democrats during the previous two confirmation processes and he wants his people well prepared for the next one, if it comes to that.
Following Justice Ginsburg’s surgery last month Trump wished her a “full and speedy recovery.”
Wishing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg a full and speedy recovery!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2018
But, President Trump is nothing if not a pragmatist and an opportunistic businessman, and much of what he hopes to accomplish may require the imprimatur of the nation’s highest court now that Democrats, led by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, have signaled their intent to legislatively obstruct the agenda he campaigned and won election with.
There’s also the potential for a battle over declassification and the obstruction charges Mueller has threatened him with if Trump chooses that route. Some have argued the Supreme Court may even be asked to rule on assigning some cases against Obama administration misconduct to military tribunals. That would require the approval of the high court, as well.
Remember Lindsey Graham’s seemingly innocuous discussion with nominee Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing:
Trump has ordered his staff to walk the fine line between being prepared for what appears to be a short-term eventuality and looking like they are wishing for the demise of the liberal icon.
A source familiar with the president’s directive said:
“[they’re] taking the temperature on possible short-list candidates, reaching out to key stakeholders, and just making sure that people are informed on the process. They’re doing it very quietly, of course, because the idea is not to be opportunistic, but just to be prepared so we aren’t caught flat-footed.”
Everyone involved expects this confirmation process to be even more contentious than that of Judge (now Justice) Brett Kavanaugh who was the victim of a savage smear campaign that included charges of gang rape. The so-called “witnesses” later recanted their stories, but only after his confirmation.
The Heritage Foundation’s John Malcolm. Director of the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies explained why he expects liberals to go even beyond the deplorable tactics they employed against Kavanaugh if/when this seat becomes open:
“It would be a brutal confirmation. The first two were not easy at all, but this would be much harder in this respect: When Neil Gorsuch was the nominee, you were replacing a conservative with a conservative. With Kavanaugh, you were replacing the perennial swing voter, who more times than not sided with the so-called conservative wing, so that slightly solidified the conservative wing.
“But if you are replacing Justice Ginsburg with a Trump appointee, that would be akin to replacing Thurgood Marshall with Clarence Thomas. It would mark a large shift in the direction of the court.”
With the nine-member court divided 5-4 between its conservative and liberal wings, Ginsburg’s departure would allow Trump to create the Court’s strongest (6-3) conservative majority in decades, something the president promised to do if elected.
Liberals have long used the appointment of progressive jurists to accomplish through the courts what they couldn’t legislatively or at the ballot box.
The loss of Ginsburg’s seat to a true conservative jurist would strike a dagger to the heart of the Marxist-Progressive-Democrat movement by ending that form of judicial overreach.
Like Barack Obama once said, “Elections have consequences.”