Fast-tracking Supreme Court nominee the wrong decision to unite us

Fast-tracking Supreme Court nominee the wrong decision to unite us

Winston Mattson, Echo reporter

Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed on Sept. 18, 2020, at the age of 87. A week and a half later, on Sept. 26, in the Rose Garden, Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace her on the Supreme Court. 

Many questions have arisen from the Rose Garden Event – was it the initial source of Covid19 that is spreading through the White House and Congress? Why Barrett? What about the future? But, one of the most obvious questions that Americans have been asking is whether or not Trump should nominate a justice before the upcoming election, or whether he should wait until after Nov. 3rd? But in reality, that’s not even a question, and there’s only one answer. Trump must wait.  

The first reason is that this whole situation is rushed. Trump knows that he’s down in the polls, that’s an undisputed fact. On the road that he is on right now, he will lose this election. 

He also knows that if he can get a 3rd Supreme Court Justice in, it will convince more disillusioned conservatives that he is their man, and energize his political base all the more. That’s also undisputable, because they do it the day before the election so it is fresh in people’s minds.  So, it makes sense that he should rush, but a Supreme Court Nomination is not something to be rushed, it is meant to be thought over, listed upon lists of people to be checked, background checked, and then checked again. 

Flawed process?

The Trump administration came up with a name in just over a week as I said before – let me remind you that justices do not ever have to run for reelection, they have no political powers holding them back, they are a free and by the constitution not supposed to be influenced by anything but their own minds, the constitution, and their own opinions. Only the best of the best, the most moral of the moral, should be in that kind of power. 

Let me remind you, too, that Trump found Amy Coney Barrett, checked, checked, and checked again, and then nominated her in 8 days. Seems like he kind of fast-tracked the progress. This is no place for fast-tracking. A normal Supreme Court nomination takes about 2 – 3 months, Brett Kavanaugh’s ( the previous justice nominated )  nomination took almost 3 months. The longest took over 27 months for Justice Henry Baldwin.  From the day of RBG’s death, there are only about 45 days left until the election, and Trump wants to appoint her in that time frame. It just doesn’t make sense – it’s not wise, it’s not prudent, and we as Americans should not stand for a process that rushes this kind of thing and by doing that makes light of it just to get some political points. 

Next, there’s the obvious fact that replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the next election is just disrespectful to her and all that she stood for, but also disrespectful to the voters who want to influence the future of their country. As her dying wish, Ruth Bader Ginsburg said “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” Why can we not listen to this simple request of a dying hero and wait off a few months? 

She said she wanted this fervently – meaning passionately. Imagine hoping for something that hard that you have a passion about. It’s just a little respect to those who have passed on. You can’t argue against it. It’s also degrading to the American people by taking away their right to decide the future of this country by voting. Let the citizens speak first, if President Trump wins the upcoming election, then by all means he can choose whoever he wants at whatever speed he wants because we as Americans have chosen him to do it and we have put our trust in him. It shows something, when our President and the Senate cannot wait one week out of respect for voters

Donald Trump is definitely not the same person that he was 4 years ago – better or worse I don’t know, but he definitely is not the person that was voted into office. If he waits till after the election then he gives some power back to the American people, but if he doesn’t wait, doesn’t take a beat, and rushes into this, he is just disrespecting our right to vote and make decisions as a people.

Impact on electoral process

Although heading into a very unique election, one that has undoubtedly impact on the future of this country, it might be important to have a Supreme Court that is not capable of tying ( 4 – 4 ) with innumerable issues that might come out of the mix between COVID and this election – voting by mail, voting rights, fraud, election meddling- the list goes on and on, and the fact is is that this election may, in fact, be to close to call in some states which might create recount cases and other problems that would need to be ruled on by the Supreme Court. 

The problem is that if Trump would be able to get the 9th Justice in one time, that would make the court lean conservative 6 – 3, and the justices he’s nominated might feel obligated to vote by party and not by law. This problem is a big one, but I, as a freshman have no idea how to solve it,  and for now, will just point it out in hopes that someone else will be able to. 

History can and has taught us so much about ourselves, our ancestors, and warns us about the future. The whole point of the Supreme Court is to look at a document written in the past and for the past, and judge the present and future based on it. 

So let’s take a look at the past – 4 years ago, the country faced a similar situation. President Obama was in office, the Senate was majority Democratic, and the house was majority  Republican – the opposite of what we have now. Justice Antonin Scalia sadly passed on Feb. 13, 2016, also an election year – the now Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell said that the appointee was void because they needed to wait until after the election. So they did, fast forward 4 years, Mitch McConnell has tried to fast track the appointee even though it was even closer to the election than before. Why did he change his tune? A question for another time, but the fact is that if the Democrats weren’t able to appoint their justice in the same circumstance then the Republicans should not be able to either.

The Confirmation

In the end, Mitch McConnell made sure the appointment stayed on track. So whether or not the moral implications of such an act matter to either man, it seems that factor is on the back burner for the time being and arguably has been for the past 4 years. I will end as I started with a question… if you were in this sort of power would you try and get your way, make a lasting impact on the US before you were voted out of office? Or would you take the high road, and wait till it is justifiable?