Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away last night from complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer.
Praise came in for her long service, including from President Donald Trump.
President Trump on death of Justice Ginsburg: "She just died? Wow. I didn't know that…She led an amazing life. What else can you say? She was an amazing woman, whether you agree or not. She was an amazing woman who led an amazing life. I'm actually sad to hear that." pic.twitter.com/6oKuL671qO
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 19, 2020
But there also was an immediate concern about the process, if Republicans would go ahead with trying to confirm a new justice and if they had enough votes.
The meltdown from the folks on the left was acute, as my colleague Sister Toldjah reported, with people promising to “burn it all down” if the Republicans went ahead with a confirmation process before the election.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued a statement saying that President Donald Trump’s nominee deserved a vote, indicating that he intended to go ahead. But whether or not there were enough Republicans willing to go forward remained in doubt, as some of the critical voices on the question remained silent last night and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said she would not vote ahead of the inauguration.
Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) made a political statement that the Senate should wait until the “new president” is elected, even before he offered condolences about Ginsburg’s death, showing where his head was at.
Former President Barack Obama weighed in, saying that the Senate should wait until after the inauguration. Joe Biden read a statement and showed he wasn’t capable of just giving simple unscripted remarks about such an important event.
But Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) explained why it was incredibly important to nominate and confirm a Supreme Court just before the Nov. 3 presidential election, saying if we didn’t, we could face a “constitutional crisis.”
We cannot have Election Day come and go with a 4-4 Court. We risk a constitutional crisis if we do not have a 9-Justice Supreme Court, particularly when there is such a risk of a contested election.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) September 19, 2020
From Fox News:
“We cannot have Election Day come and go with a four-four court,” Cruz said during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “A four-four court that is equally divided cannot decide anything. And I think we risk a constitutional crisis if we do not have a nine-justice Supreme Court, particularly when there is such a risk of a contested election.” [….]
“I think it is critical that the Senate takes up and confirms that successor before Election Day,” he said. “There’s going to be enormous pressure from the media, there’s going to be enormous pressure from the Democrats to delay filling this vacancy. But this election, this nomination is why Donald Trump was elected. This confirmation is why the voters voted for a Republican majority in the Senate.”
Cruz continued: “I’ll tell you one reason in particular why I think it is tremendously important that not only does the nomination happen next week, but that the confirmation happen before Election Day. Democrats and Joe Biden have made clear they intend to challenge this election. They intend to fight the legitimacy of this election. As you know, Hillary Clinton has told Joe Biden ‘under no circumstances should you concede. You should challenge this election.'”
Exactly. Barring a huge landslide, we know it’s coming. In addition to Hillary Clinton tipping the Democrats’ hand by saying they shouldn’t concede, as I reported, Joe Biden has already engaged a ton of lawyers to try to legally battle for a win. Expect all kinds of ballot questions, because they’re going to try to make up the difference any way they can.
Cruz was on Trump’s Supreme Court list, but he already said that he wasn’t interested in the job.
It’s interesting that Cruz puts the Court at a potential four to four lock, which means he’s putting Chief Justice John Roberts in with the remaining liberal justices on the Court. That makes sense because it seems that’s where Roberts ends up being in incredibly important political decisions made by the Court.
But a Constitutional crisis and a decision in limbo are not what any of us need or want. It remains to be seen if Republicans have the votes to proceed now. So prepare for all kinds of pressure on those Republicans in the middle of the firestorm.