Can Trump get another justice on the SCOTUS bench before the 2020 election?
I was wrong
Beginning in 2019 when I believed Ruth Bader Ginsberg was already dead, I said it wouldn’t be announced until 2020.
Was she already dead in 2019?
Irrelevant to how I was wrong.
I believed an urban legend that posits “Presidents cannot confirm a SCOTUS appointment in an election year”
More than 30 (Lower) Federal Judiciary positions have already been confirmed in 2020, so why couldn’t the President confirm a new SCOTUS appointment?
Is there any specific law that prevents the President from confirming a new SCOTUS appointment in an election year?
Though not consistent with either major Political party in the U.S., an argument has often been used whereby the President may not confirm any Senate appointments to the Federal Judiciary within an election year.
But is this legal?
There is something referred to as the “Thurmond rule” (Named after deceased Senator Strom Thurmond)
As it turns out, this is more of a political ploy used in partisan times of disagreement.
The 1980 (Presidential) Election took place on Tuesday, November 4th; on November 13, 1980, outgoing U.S. President Jimmy Carter nominated Stephen Breyer to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and he was confirmed by a Democrat-majority Senate on December 9th.
This only required 35 days, received a vote of 80 (Yea) to 10 (No); which included 33 Republican Senators.
In the 1994 (Mid-Term) elections, U.S. President Bill Clinton nominated Stephen Breyer to the Supreme Court on May 17, 1994, and he was confirmed by a Democrat-majority Senate on July 29, 1994.
This took less than 3 months, and received a 87 (Yea) to 9 (No) vote.
In February of 2016, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died.
On March 16, 2016 (in a Presidential election year), President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, to succeed Antonin Scalia.
As Republicans controlled the Senate at this time, their leadership refused to entertain Obama’s nominee; citing, it being an election year.
Considering this move by the Republicans in the 2016 election year, could Democrats perform the same for the 2020 election year?
Only if they were the majority in the Senate, but they are not.
Could the Democrats attempt to “stand” on this “Thurmond “Rule” as a principle?
Only for “show” purposes.
So, if Clinton and a Democrat-controlled Senate can push through a member of SCOTUS in an election year, why can’t Trump and the Republican-controlled Senate do the same?
Politics, as usual.
If Trump and the Republicans do not seize on this opportunity, it will be one more reminder of a major difference between what happens in Congress when Democrats hold a majority, versus what does not occur when Republicans hold that same majority.
When Democrats are in control, they will shove Leftist legislation down our throats, but when Republicans have the same opportunity, they fold, on most occasions.
Even in replacing Ginsberg with a Constitutionalist/Conservative, the political “Right” still needs 1 more seat on SCOTUS, to have a firm Constitutionalist/Conservative majority.
The next member of SCOTUS could be looking at 20+ years on America’s highest court.