Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on Friday has amplified the political crisis in the United States and presented liberal, progressive, and left-wing Americans with a stark challenge only seven weeks before the presidential election on 3 November.
President Donald Trump has said that we will nominate a new associate justice to Justice Ginsburg’s seat – widely expected to be Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative judge appointed to the Seventh Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals by President Trump less than a year ago – and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he will bring the nomination to a vote without delay. The Kentucky senator did not even wait for Justice Ginsburg’s funeral to signal that he would enthusiastically abandon the “principle” of not confirming a Supreme Court Justice during an election year that he had defended four years ago.
With four months to the inauguration of a president who many – if not most – Americans fervently hope is someone other than President Trump, American liberals, progressives, and leftists are desperate to stop what conservative Republicans hope will be a runaway train toward creating an enduring reactionary majority on the Supreme Court. Yet, there is hope that the locomotive can be derailed, as Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) have both said that they will not vote to confirm a new associate justice before the federal election.
Neither Senators Mitt Romney (R-Utah) nor Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have commented on the impending confirmation vote, but both have said previously that they would not vote to fill a vacant Supreme Court seat in 2020. Senator Romney is the only Republican to have voted to convict President Trump in his impeachment trial early this year.
So there are certainly some chinks in the Republican senate wall. Moreover, with the election weeks away, and the very real possibility that President Trump will be forced into retirement, many Senators are doubtless considering their chances, particularly some of the 20 Republican senators facing reelection:
- Sen. Martha McSally (Ariz.)
- Sen. Thom Tillis (N. C.)
- Sen. Susan Collins (Maine)
- Sen. Steve Daines (Mt.)
- Sen. Joni Ernst (Iowa)
- Sen. Cory Gardner (Colo.)
- Sen. David Perdue (Ga.)
- Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.)
- Sen. Kelly Loeffler (Ga.)—LeanR
- Sen. James Risch (Idaho)
- Sen. Dan Sullivan (Alaska)
- Sen. John Cornyn (Texas)
- Sen. Mitch McConnell (Ky.)
- Sen. Mike Rounds (S.D.)
- Sen. Ben Sasse (Neb.)
- Sen. Bill Cassidy (La.)
- Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (Miss.)
- Sen. James Inhofe (Okla.)
- Sen. Tom Cotton (Ark.)
- Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (W.V.)
While McConnell, Lindsay Graham, and Tom Cotton are undoubtedly committed to proceeding with the nomination and conformation of a new associate justice, the senators whose names are in bold above are in insecure seats, in Democrat-leaning states, and they are almost certainly thinking long and hard about their political futures. Others, even those who won’t come up for reelection until 2022 or 2024, will be considering their legacies. It is worth wondering how much they want to be associated in history with Donald Trump should he – as we hope – go down to defeat on 3 November.
With that in mind, one way to fight back and save the Supreme Court, is to remind the senators – indeed, senators of both parties – that voters, and history, are watching. The Typescript urges our readers to call their senators repeatedly over the next weeks to tell them that there will be a steep political cost should they proceed with confirmation hearings to fill Justice Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court.
Follow the link below to a list of phone numbers of all current senators. Pick up your phone and have them hear your voice, as often as you can. If you don’t know what to say, you can use this simple call script:
I’m calling to urge Senator _________ to commit to not confirm any Supreme Court nominees until after the new president is sworn in.