Confirming judges wasn’t supposed to be political; the Democrats made it that way
Anyone who’s paid attention to American politics since the onset of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP, or Wuhan, if you prefer) virus pandemic and panic earlier this year recognizes how the establishment media has gleefully anticipated that people will base their November election vote on whether they believe President Donald Trump handled the crisis response properly.
As is typical for most anything concerning the media, their pronouncements and analyses are far too simple. Sophisticated American voters -- at least the ones who haven’t already made up their minds to choose doddering Democrat dufus nominee Joe Biden -- weigh lots of factors in their deliberations. The virus is one thing. The economy is another. The nation’s social unrest and shifting attitudes on law enforcement and “protests” is yet another (see, Louisville).
With attention focused elsewhere, the Supreme Court probably wasn’t high on the list of potential game-changers until last Friday, when Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away. Republicans now feel the ensuing chatter and upcoming confirmation struggle will bolster the party’s chances to thrive on Election Day. W. James Antle III wrote at The Washington Examiner, “A Pew poll released the month before Ginsburg’s death found that Supreme Court appointments were a top-three issue for registered voters nationally, just ahead of the coronavirus. Four years ago, the vacancy created by the death of Antonin Scalia was a winning issue for Trump...
“Trump has once again released a list of prospective Supreme Court justices, though he has far greater credibility among social conservatives than when he first ran. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has said he will not tip his hand as to whom he would nominate to fill Ginsburg’s seat or any other vacancy that might arise if he is elected...”
The Democrats’ handling of the Supreme Court issue has always been curious. Historically speaking, the Supreme Court was not intended to be the political football it is today. Technically, the judicial branch has no real power other than applying the facts of a case or controversy to the laws passed by Congress and then determining whether there’s a violation of one or more of them. Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it?
“The defendant was arrested by the police for crossing the street in a non-designated zone (sometimes known as a crosswalk) in violation of statute X, which plainly states that pedestrians should only step out into the roadway when situated in such areas or directed by the police to do so.” Testimony is heard and counsel for both interests present their arguments; the judge then makes a determination and, if there’s a conviction, pronounces a sentence.
In a politics-free world, being a judge wouldn’t cause any controversy whatsoever. The Constitution itself doesn’t go into great depth on the subject. Then came the principle of judicial review as formulated by legendary Chief Justice John Marshall in the 1803 case, Marbury v. Madison. In 1801, outgoing President John Adams made a number of last-minute appointments to try and preserve the Federalist Party’s hold on the young United States government. The Supreme Court was tasked with deciding whether these appointments -- the physical papers -- should be delivered.
Marshall wrote that Secretary of State James Madison was wrong to hold onto the papers themselves, but also that the provision of the law allowing the Supreme Court to decide such things was contrary to the Court’s authority as granted by the Constitution… and was therefore invalid. Thus, the Supreme Court gained the capacity to declare laws unconstitutional. A case that reeked of politics greatly expanded the Court’s power.
Is it any surprise that politics has reared its ugly head now? Post-Marbury, because the Supreme Court possessed the power to invalidate laws -- and later on, to basically write or rewrite them -- appointments to the bench became extremely valuable to both parties. Today’s judges are divided between two philosophies: those who believe powers that weren’t expressly granted by the Constitution should be legislated into law by elected bodies; and those who seem to think that the courts can act as super legislatures, creating “rights” that weren’t approved through the legislative process.
Liberty lovers and conservatives side with the textual originalists such as Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito. Liberals treasure the Supreme Court because it allows them to read new “rights” into law without bothering to have them enacted by legislatures. Why get your people elected into majorities to propose and pass bills when five judges on the Supreme Court can do it much quicker and cheaper? It alleviates the need to campaign for candidates and sway public opinion as well.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg embodied the latter philosophy. She’s canonized by the left because of her willingness to enshrine liberal social issues into the Constitution. Together with fellow Democrat appointees Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, Ginsburg opposed any attempt by the originalists to require state and local governments to do the lawmaking. Liberal interest groups loved her because her vote for their causes was guaranteed.
Abortion is the topic du jour because it’s the most shining example of a “right” that wouldn’t pass through Congress and a number of state legislatures, but was proclaimed by a Supreme Court majority. Hence, access to an abortion is a federal right, a law that applies to all fifty states. What most people don’t realize is, even if Roe v. Wade were overturned, the “right” wouldn’t just vanish. Many liberal states, such as California and New York, would pass (or already have passed?) laws providing for legalized abortion.
The symbolic victory would vanish, however. Liberals would actually have to convince a majority of the public that unborn babies aren’t really human and that the mother carrying the growing child could terminate the pregnancy whenever she chooses. Subsequent advances in medical science have further complicated the issue since hospitals can keep younger and less developed babies alive. And ultrasound technology shows mothers and fathers that the growing baby isn’t just a “tissue mass” to be cast away on a whim.
It's not about politics; it’s about life. And power. Who decides?
Nominating and then confirming a new Supreme Court justice will definitely help Trump
“Democrats are outraged that Trump will try to nominate a Ginsburg replacement so close to the election after Senate Republicans blocked Merrick Garland, Barack Obama’s nominee to replace Scalia, for almost a year,” Antle wrote. “They believe their voters will be motivated to see a liberal succeed Ginsburg, whom they revered as a feminist icon. But Republican operatives believe even that passion could work to Trump’s benefit if Democrats champion court-packing legislation or a new impeachment inquiry to derail a conservative court majority. Some rank-and-file liberals may even engage in civil unrest.”
People still generally believe the old saying that Republicans are the “stupid party” and Democrats are the “evil party”. Only this time, Republicans aren’t acting so stupid -- they’re actually doing something quite smart -- and Democrats are still, well, evil. The events of the past week indicate that perhaps GOPers have learned what’s at stake and aren’t about to be threatened and bullied into giving up an opportunity to take away one of the left’s favorite play toys, the Supreme Court, and use it to their advantage.
Grampa Joe Biden said earlier this week that he won’t produce a Supreme Court list and he also won’t indicate whether he’s in favor of ditching the senate’s filibuster power on legislative bills if he becomes president. Everyone knows the Democrat nominee is terrified of naming names because the person or persons he would offer might alienate one or more of his coalitions. He’s already elevated an African-American woman to his presidential ticket, does this give him enough leeway with liberals to nominate a white male to the Supreme Court?
Merrick Garland is a white male, but he was nominated by Obama. Biden, the pasty white would-be president, wouldn’t be allowed such considerations in the skin color-obsessed Democrat party. Who knows, maybe liberals decide which racial and gender classifications to favor based on a game of darts at party headquarters. Or set up huge Venn Diagrams of potential candidates and see where they overlap.
President Trump did something very Biden-esque when he announced that his next nominee would be a woman. Republicans aren’t immune to the identity politics game, but there’s now enormous pressure to fill a woman’s seat on the Court with another woman, especially since there are no conservative females on the bench at present.
With polls consistently showing Trump lagging well behind the Democrat nominee with suburban women, to select a “normal” woman to replace the liberal ideological crusader Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a no-brainer. Not all women adhere to the dictates of radical feminists. Many, many female voters find abortion abhorrent and wrong. If anything, religious and traditionalist women have never been represented on the Court. That could very well change by Election Day.
Democrat vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris doesn’t exactly engender a lot of positive empathy either. Does anyone seriously hope their little girl emulates Harris, a woman who initially gained access to power by dating a married man twice her age? As I previously argued, Harris will reveal her true self during the confirmation process for Trump’s appointee. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is also on the Judiciary Committee, another example of liberal feminism gone wrong.
Republicans will earn the respect of voters for finally taking a stand on something and carrying it through. What would they gain by cowering under the Democrats’ threats? Joe Biden won’t even put himself on the record with a list of people he would consider for a vacancy. Do Americans prefer holding back for political reasons or forging ahead and showing leadership?
Donald Trump is not a perfect politician, but he’s instilled a combative attitude in Republicans that’s necessary in today’s divided environment. Would the Founding Fathers have shrunk from such a challenge? Or Abraham Lincoln? Or Teddy Roosevelt? Or Ronald Reagan? Hiding from a duty makes you one thing and one thing only: a loser.
Republicans -- or at least 51 or them -- decided to stand for something, and Trump and Mitch McConnell inspired them to do it. Perhaps it was the abhorrent treatment Democrats afforded Brett Kavanaugh two years ago; or maybe it’s the election. If they keep going, folks won’t think of them as the “stupid” party any longer.
COVID-19 deaths reached a milestone this week; people would rather talk about the Supreme Court
The number of fatalities attributed to the CCP virus spilled over 200,000 this week. As would be expected, like cheerleaders at a pep rally for a bad team, the media tried hard to get people roused over the enormity of the number. The “fans” preferred to concentrate on the positive. Cassidy Morrison reported at The Washington Examiner, “The U.S. COVID-19 death toll hit 200,000 Tuesday, but the rate of deaths has slowed, keeping hopes alive for a less disruptive fall.
“The current coronavirus mortality rate in the United States is nowhere near what it was in April at the pandemic’s peak, when daily deaths would often surpass 2,000. Keeping coronavirus transmission rates low in colder months will be difficult as more people are indoors and in smaller spaces, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, told CNN Tuesday. He added that he'd like to see the U.S. go into the fall and winter months ‘at such a low level that when you have the inevitable cases, you can handle them.’
“As long as people continue to take the threat of infection seriously and follow social distancing guidelines, the U.S. will be able to decrease the COVID-19 mortality and case rates while waiting for a vaccine to become available, he said.”
Maintaining social distance and keeping the disease under control shouldn’t be a problem. The number of confirmed cases continues to go up dramatically while deaths are dwindling. No doubt many, many people have had the virus and recovered without symptoms. Americans realize all the hype didn’t match reality.
With the Supreme Court vacancy and upcoming nomination occupying Americans’ minds, it’s not nearly as likely that COVID-19 will be the all-encompassing political issue that Democrats had hoped it would be for much of this year. The mostly united Republican Party has found unity to be a good thing, and so will the voters in early November.
Marbury v. Madison