RIP Ginsburg. This Changes EVERYTHING.

RIP Ginsburg. This Changes EVERYTHING. September 19, 2020

Despite what Trump fanatics, such as commenters here, have been saying, Biden was going to romp the election. This is a great analysis of the state of affairs from A rate pollsters only (i.e., the best and most accurate):

Before this news, Biden was on to win the 270 from safe and likely states alone, not even considering the swing and battleground states.

And then this.

When voting in US elections for either the Democrats or the Republicans, what you are really voting for is nominations for the Supreme Court of the United States. Really, what politics is is a subset of morality just extended from the personal, normative moral arguments of individual ethics expanded to the societal level. As such, moral regulation is what defines what can be passed by a government and what, of their moral rules, can be challenged. SCOTUS is the arbitration of these rules. Whatever direction, morally, that you want a country to go in; whatever view of abortion, separation of church and states, and so on you have; whatever constitutional position you take, the SCOTUS is what will either provide you with your desires, or block you and the country from achieving them.

The Constitution itself is rather an interesting thing when considering SCOTUS. So many Americans, so many religious Americans, put the Constitution on some sacred pedestal. It is the be-all-and-end-all for their existence.

But the Constitution is worthless. I mean this by point of fact that it is entirely at the mercy of the SCOTUS: the document only has meaning in its legal interpretation and implementation. This, of course, is the job of the SCOTUS.

So, given that one of the most important jobs of the ruling party is to nominate judges for the SCOTUS, and given the entirely partisan approach they have to nominating Supreme Court judges, voting at elections can be simplified to voting for Supreme Court judicial nominations.

So when Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an extraordinary woman and long-serving member of the judicial system who has ensured that (liberal understanding of) human rights have been enshrined in US law, died last night, it was not only a personal loss and the loss of a great human being, but a massive political battle in the making. And one that might serve the Trumpian right.

The chief justice, John Roberts, said that the nation “has lost a jurist of historic stature. We at the supreme court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her – a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”

Her death thrust an immediate spotlight on who might fill the vacancy on the court, with just over six weeks before the election. The news was received with alarm by liberals and moderates who feared that Republicans would exploit the narrow window to install a third Donald Trump appointee on the supreme court.

The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, pledged to get Trump a swift vote his supreme court pick. “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” McConnell said.

The Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden, said that the Republican-controlled Senate should wait until after the election to confirm Ginsburg’s replacement, following the precedent Republicans set in 2016.

McConnell blocked Barack Obama from filling a court vacancy in March 2016, eight months before the presidential election that year, claiming that the window of time was too narrow and saying the slot had to be held for the next president to fill.

“Tonight and in the coming days we should focus on the loss of the justice and her enduring legacy,” Biden said. “But there is no doubt – let me be clear – that the voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider. This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go before the election.”

I have a bad feeling about this. Those Republicans, already callous and cynical in their treatment of Obama in the SCOTUS, are on track to gain a hat trick. And not only that, this will mobilise conservative voters who might have given this election a miss on account of Trump being a total moral reprobate. This doesn’t look good.

Mark my words: this will invigorate conservatives who would have felt that Trump had stepped too far or been too toxic but not have an excuse to vote for him. They won’t be voting for him, they’ll be voting for SCOTUS. Liberals who feel strongly enough about this will be voting anyway. Conservatives qua Trump gains.

On the other hand, if they get it done and dusted by the election (can it be done that quickly?), then perhaps the point is moot?


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