It’s clear that every Democrat in America from Joe Biden to the average, Main Street Democratic voter, sees the upcoming battle to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg in apocalyptic terms.
Over our dead bodies. Literally. https://t.co/rQbvuKakHU
— Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) September 19, 2020
We’re shutting this country down if Trump and McConnell try to ram through an appointment before the election.
— Beau Willimon (@BeauWillimon) September 18, 2020
One can understand their frustration. This is the best chance they’ve had in a decade to “remake America” and they can feel it slipping away from them.
But they’re not out of the fight quite yet. Frontrunners to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg are in for a very rough ride to confirmation. The war to confirm Brett Kavanaugh will seem a skirmish once they get through with whoever President Donald Trump nominates to fill the vacancy.
Master manipulators will take any scrap of scandal and blow it up into the crime of the century. Whether it’s true or not will be immaterial to the attack.
And the problem for the White House will be a very short time frame to allow the FBI to fully vet a nominee. Something is likely to slip through the cracks and, after being blown out of proportion, embellished with lies and half-truths, and thrown into the feeding frenzy, the nominee will be shredded.
Would you go through that hell? Would you put your family through that hell?
The leading candidates to replace Ginsburg — competent, sober-minded jurists all — should prepare themselves for anything.
Perhaps the frontrunner is Judge Amy Comey Barrett, an appeals court judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, who got high marks during her Senate confirmation hearing for not letting Senator Diane Feinstein get her goat.
Born in 1972, she served as a professor of law at her alma mater, Notre Dame.
During her confirmation hearing, she had a contentious exchange with Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who asked her about past writings concerning faith and the law. At one point, Feinstein asked Barrett if the “dogma lives loudly in her.” Supporters of Barrett suggested Feinstein was attempting to apply a religious litmus test to the nominee.
Another possibility is former Solicitor General Paul Clement, considered one of the most experienced appellate lawyers in the country. He has argued more than 100 cases before the Supreme Court and is a member of the conservative Federalist Society.
His biggest drawback is that he’s a white male. That’s why Trump could very well nominate someone that the diversity nuts might hesitate to smear.
Barbara Lagoa was appointed by Trump to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. She’s Hispanic — and Cuban.
Trump appointed Lagoa to the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals in 2019. Before that, she was the first Hispanic woman and the first Cuban American woman on the Supreme Court of Florida.
If appointed to the high court, she would be its second justice of Latino descent, joining Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who became its first Latino member in 2009.
Finally, there’s former Senator Tom Cotton. What makes Cotton’s nomination so attractive is that he’s already popular among GOP senators and in less stressful times, would have a fairly easy time getting confirmed.
But these are very stressful times and it doesn’t matter much how popular Cotton is with senators. He’s got a boatload of controversial votes and statements that he’d have to defend, which would slow the process down.
You can bet that the lamps were burning late in the offices of the Democratic Party, major liberal advocacy groups, and less well-known offices where the seeds have already been planted to bring down whoever Trump chooses to sit on the highest court in the land.