Chris Ruddy, one of President Trump’s closest allies and the CEO of Newsmax, gave an interview on Monday where he told Business Insider that it would be smart for Trump to make a deal with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Ruddy’s logic is that if Trump replaces her with Judge Merrick Garland, President Obama’s choice to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat, it could be a much needed political win for the Trump administration.
Ruddy wrote about his opposition to the Senate invoking the “nuclear option” in order to change chamber rules to get Judge Neil Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court. Ruddy argued that if Trump got Garland nominated, that would be a “huge move” towards easing tensions between Republicans and Democrats so that bipartisan work can get done.
“I think they made a big mistake by pulling the nuclear option,” Ruddy said. “I wrote about it. I said they should not have done it. I think that he still should pick Merrick Garland and do a deal. Ruth Bader Ginsburg wants to retire, and I think they should swap her out, give her an offer where they would put Merrick Garland on the Supreme Court.”
“They would remove a very liberal Democrat with a moderate, consensus Democrat who I think Garland is,” Ruddy said. “And I think it would be a huge move and a sign for Trump that he’s willing to break through the political ice.”
Ruddy’s idea is appealing on paper because it assumes everyone will play ball fairly. Who is to say that Democrats still won’t continue to be obstructionists on everything going forward?
Garland is 63 years old. If Garland took Ginsburg’s seat, he could sit on the Supreme Court for 20 more years until he reached Ginsburg’s age. Wouldn’t it be smarter for Trump to wait, let Ginsburg retire on her own, and then appoint another conservative to the bench?
Ruddy is trying to persuade Trump into offering an olive branch to Democrats, but Republicans have no guarantee that they will play ball going forward. They will obstruct Trump on everything going forward because it will play well with their constituents back home.
Ruddy, who has been friends with Trump for more than a decade, says he speaks often with the president.
Trump is easily influenced, and Ruddy is someone Trump has listened to for many years. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.