I write this piece as the Senate Judiciary hearings are beginning for Trump’s Supreme Court nomination, Amy Coney Barrett.
The Trump campaign and Republican campaigns in general are starving for political energy. Their hope is to make this Supreme Court nomination the fuel to energize campaigns that have been running on empty.
I am troubled by any Supreme Court nominee that allows their nomination to be politically weaponized. The Trump campaign is starved for something to build energy and this nomination is being used for just that. And yes, this nomination is meant to move the court in a more conservative direction. If this does not happen, you will hear many on the right complaining of being disappointed and even mislead in their support for this nominee. I would respect Amy Coney Barrett if she, right from the beginning, denounced being used by the right or any group to move the Court in a desired direction. All this accomplishes is a guaranteed continuation of culture wars and the wars of intense political division and hyper partisanship. At some point, leaders need to stand up to this and recognize the destruction this is bringing to our country. Packing the court is exactly what this nomination is all about.
Since the Nixon election, the Republican Party has been looking to the courts as a political weapon to be used to unwind Roosevelt’s New Deal as well as the Federal Government that has grown after WWII.
In the Nixon presidency, the GOP, and especially corporate America were outraged over court decisions that went after Big Tobacco and the automobile industry – remember Ralph Nader and the safety measures forced on the car makers. Environmental laws as well as business regulations added to a growing Republican focus on the courts as a way to tilt the table against what they considered a liberal view of the Constitution.
This Republican strategy focused on the courts has used cultural issues to further energize a base and gain support, i.e., women’s and minority rights as well as faith based politics.
This is where we are today with a bitterly divided country and leadership that is not trying to bring us back together.
There will be no good outcome from this, none. Even our experience and efforts to fight the challenges of a world pandemic have been made into partisan trench warfare and a continuation of our cultural war against ourselves. Now, the armies of private militias are adding to the dangers we bring upon ourselves. State governors are becoming the targets of these militias and armies of the far right.
We desperately need leaders that will say, “Stop this! There will be no winners here.” We are on the path that could lead to the break up of America, and even to civil war. Somebody has to see where we are headed and speak to all of us about the dangers we are bringing upon us.
I am against using the Supreme Court nomination to energize and fuel the senseless political destruction we are bringing upon us. It was wrong four years ago for McConnell to block Obama’s nomination of Judge Garland. The arguments made then were verbal gymnastics in hypocrisy and the arguments being made today by McConnell are just taking political hypocrisy to a higher level.
The Constitution allows a president to nominate someone to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. The Senate’s job is to advise and consent to the nomination. I, like many, hate to see Trump make another nomination to the Court, but it is allowed in the Constitution. The actions of the McConnell Senate in 2016 and now make this a bitter pill to swallow for many of us. The greater consequence is where this is all leading us as a country, and there is no good outcome in sight. No good judge would allow themselves to be used a political weapon in this insane war that will rip the country apart. There is my biggest objection to Amy Coney Barrett.