It is just days after the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — a trailblazing champion of women’s rights and the second woman on the United States Supreme Court. And yet, a pitched political battle is already raging as those on the left vow vehemently to oppose any nominee — no matter her qualifications.
President Trump should make good on his promise to quickly appoint a pro-constitution judge to the United States Supreme Court. In fact, in unheard of numbers, presidential voters in 2016 identified Supreme Court nominations as crucial to their voting choice. Before the election, according to Pew Research, 65% of those polled stated that Supreme Court appointments would be “a very important factor” in determining their vote. And a full quarter of Trump voters told pollsters that the President’s ability to nominate Supreme Court justices motivated their vote.
Yet the Speaker of the House has already proposed all sorts of shenanigans to prevent the President from fulfilling his constitutional role of nominating Supreme Court justices — from packing the court to holding sham impeachment proceedings. It is these sorts of radical proposals that threaten to undermine constitutional norms, not the confirmation of a justice during an election year when the president and senate are of the same party.
Elections have consequences — as well they should in a Republic like ours. The Constitution delegates to the president the power to nominate Supreme Court justices and to the senate the right to provide advice and consent on those nominees. There are key differences between 2016 and 2020 — the President, for instance, is not a lame-duck at the end of his two terms and the Senate and President are of the same political party. These latter circumstances have occurred frequently throughout history and nearly always resulted in the confirmation of a supreme court justice. At the end of the day, it is entirely within the Senate’s province to exercise their constitutional advice and consent role differently today than in 2016.
President Trump has been transparent about the type of justice he would appoint to the Supreme Court — releasing a list of potential nominees. And the voters in 2016 and 2018 clearly indicated a preference for these sorts of pro-Constitution judges who will uphold the rule of law. When the President and Senate are both of the same party, those voters rightly expect a nomination and confirmation post-haste.