By Alex Johnson
“I want you to use my words against me. If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination.”
It’s less than a week till election day, and despite the fact that more than 60 million ballots have already been cast, the Senate voted to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court with a 52-48 vote on Monday, Sept. 26, 2020. Mitch McConnell, possible turtle, adjourned the Senate till Nov. 9 to celebrate the controversial move.
Barrett was sworn in on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2020. She was immediately presented with a request to recurse herself from an election-related case should one occur regarding the Nov. 3 presidential election; it is a Supreme Court Justices’ own decision to recurse themselves from a case.
This marks the third Supreme Court Justice picked by impeached President, Donald Trump. This also gives the Supreme Court, ideally a politically neutral entity, a conservative leaning.
The nomination of Barrett brought up concerns about Roe V. Wade, LGBT+ rights and protections and the future of healthcare, specifically the ACA (Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare). Despite being sworn in, Barrett has yet to give a response that satisfies those concerned about these issues and likely never will.
The confirmation of Barrett has led many to ask Democratic Presidential nominee, Joe Biden, and Vice-Presidential nominee, Kamala Harris, what they would do to restore balance should they be elected. Judicial reform and “court packing” (adding Justices to the Court) have been brought up, but Biden and Harris have yet to release a definitive plan.
“I’ve already spoken: I’m not a fan of court packing […],” Biden said on WKRC-TV. Although he’s not explicitly written off the idea, he seems to favor alternative routes.
“There is some literature among constitutional scholars about the possibility of going from one court to another court, not just always staying the whole time in the Supreme Court but I have made no judgement,” Biden said at a campaign stop, suggesting he is considering action, but still not wanting to make a strong stance in an attempt to appeal to literally everyone.
Republicans, on the other hand, are celebrating the confirmation.
“The highlight of my time in the Senate is to shepherd [Amy Coney Barrett] through the Senate and help Mitch McConnell and the president get her confirmed,” said technically-not-a-hypocrite*, Lindsey Graham.
*Note: Graham said “you can say…”, he never said he would care.