The impending confirmation proceedings of Amy Coney Barrett have Republicans and Democrats in a tizzy. Liberals claim Barrett will tilt the Court too far right, while conservatives are saying they hope the Court will hamper progressive initiatives.
First things first. Barrett is going to be considered and voted upon by the Senate before the election unless something dramatic turns up. It would have to be something salacious or illegal to stop the process.
Republicans control the White House, so Trump gets to pick the next nominee for the Court. Conservatives appear to have a bulletproof majority in the Senate, and an enthusiastic vice president who is ready, willing and able to break a tie vote. So, let’s put to rest a rejection of the process. You may not like what is going on, but all the things occurring are delineated in the Constitution. This of course will not deter protests by any number of left-wing groups.
Next is the issue of confirming a nominee in such a short period of time. It has been done before, and Barrett was vetted by the Senate a short time ago. The same questions will be asked by Barrett’s opposition relating to two major issues, Obamacare and Roe v. Wade. There is no reason why a short process would be a problem, although hysterical Democrats will likely do everything possible to obstruct Barrett’s confirmation.
A great deal of attention will be directed at the Merrick Garland ordeal. He was an Obama nominee in 2016 who was not afforded a Senate vote. At the time, Obama was president and Republicans held a majority in the Senate, and therefore controlled the confirmation process. Mitch McConnell, the Majority Leader, refused to take up the Garland nomination, which was his prerogative. The Constitution says the Senate considers and votes on nominees. It provides no time frame to get the job done.
Today, a Republican president is nominating a conservative to replace a liberal judge, and the Senate is in the hands of the Republicans. Although Democrats insist that the facts are the same as when Garland was nominated, they are not. Barrett will be considered quickly because Republicans are in charge of every aspect of the process. We will hear about hypocrisy and fairness ad nauseum from those that oppose Barrett, but it will be to no avail.
How dangerous is a conservative tilt of the Court to America? For the most part, there are only a few major social issues that the Court must deal with. Nevertheless, Trump opponents will say that conservatives are dead set on changing our way of life. This is a gross exaggeration.
The major issues that may be challenged by the conservative majority on the Court are abortion and health care. And, if there is a problem with the 2020 Election, presumably it will be worked out in favor of Republicans, similar to the 2000 election.
Abortion laws will not be expunged. We have come too far in our country guaranteeing the right of women to choose. Roe v. Wade will remain intact, but it could be tweaked in subtle ways. For instance, more late term abortions could be outlawed federally or by additional states. In fact, abortions after the 2nd trimester could be limited (paving the way for a massive negotiated settlement of the abortion issue), or funding of abortions with public money could be restricted. The Court may chip away on abortion, but the basic right of women will survive in my opinion.
Obamacare is another contentious issue. It has been a dismal failure since it became law. President Obama spent trillions trying to set the stage for universal health care. The US cannot afford this entitlement. The ultimate resolution of the situation is to provide free healthcare to people who cannot afford it, an expanded Medicaid system, if you will. This is the direction our government should follow after Congress and a conservative Court determine that some elements of Obamacare are either unaffordable and/or unconstitutional.
From what has been made public, Judge Barrett is well qualified, well-educated, empathetic, religious and in love with her family and America. This is a pretty good combination. I don’t think the world will suffer at all if this conservative judge joins the Supreme Court.