A New Supreme Court Justice by Election Day?

The Story:

The Trump administration has said that it would like an up or down vote in the US Senate on the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett for a seat on the Supreme Court by election day, November 3. It is not clear that that will happen.


The Democrats see the very fact that the Senate is considering Barrett’s nomination as a hypocritical grab for power, especially blaming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the hypocrisy. McConnell made a point, in 2016, of shutting down any consideration of a nominee for a then vacant Supreme Court seat by then President Barack Obama. McConnell claimed then that the people should decide in the upcoming election, who should appoint someone new for that seat. McConnell has refused all pleas to abide by the same rule in 2020.

The Thing to Know:

The Democrats do not have the votes to prevent the confirmation of Judge Barrett. They have settled upon a more likely goal. A challenge to the continued constitutionality of Obamacare is about to come before the court. If the Democrats can, through procedural delay, prevent a vote until after November 10, and the new Justice does not take part in the arguments on Obamacare that day, Barrett will likely recuse herself from subsequent deliberations on that case, and this may increase the odds that Obamacare will survive.


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