An Appropriate (And Fair) Response if the GOP Fills the Seat

Michael Francis
6 min readSep 21, 2020

There is perhaps no better year to quote The Joker: “And here. We. Go.”

As if the 2020 election could not get any more sensational, the passing of the great Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has thrown an already divided nation into ideological chaos just weeks before the election.

Nothing is certain, but it would appear that the Republican Party is going to shamelessly balk at their own 2016 precedent of no Supreme Court nominations in an election year. With less than 50 days to the election, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has committed to holding a confirmation vote for the president’s nominee, who will be named next week.

To demonstrate just how blatant the hypocrisy is, here are a few quotes from 2016 by Republican Senators still in office:

“If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump’s term, and the primary process has started, we’ll wait to the next election.” — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

“It has been 80 years since a Supreme Court vacancy was nominated and confirmed in an election year. There is a long tradition that you don’t do this in an election year.” — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)

“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.” — Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY.)

All have committed to moving forward with Trump’s nominee in 2020.

While one can hope that the Senate can find 4 Republicans with any sense of fairness in democracy, Democrats should plan for what the GOP usually delivers — the worst.

So the question that must be asked is what reaction would be just, based upon the brazen lawlessness of the GOP, and what would be fair, avoiding claims of bitter hyper partisanship.

Expand The Court

Should the president’s nominee be confimed as our 9th Supreme Court Justice, the Republicans will have de facto stolen a Supreme Court seat. There’s no other way about it. Merrick Garland was nominated months — not weeks — before the 2016 election. If it was too close to an election for him, but not for Trump’s pick…

Michael Francis

Trying to live and promote an examined life.