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The Trump Admin's Expected Nomination of a Justice Is Unproductive and Hypocritical

Armand Yazdani

Posted on September 26, 2020 17:47

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Although the Trump Administration may find it indispensable to nominate a conservative justice before the election, their decision to do so is marred by hypocrisy and could hurt Trump this election.

Supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg died from metastatic cancer last Friday, which not only saddened many Americans but also stirred politicians. Ginsberg's passing meant that her vacant supreme court position would soon be replaced. However, Democrats and Republicans have clashed over when the pick should be nominated, with the former arguing the appointment ought to be made post-election. 

Meanwhile, the Trump Administration pledges to nominate a conservative justice to set a 6-3 conservative majority in the Supreme Court. Despite some opposition from some Republicans, such as Senator Susan Collins of Maine, most conservatives fell in line. And last Friday, it was leaked that President Donald Trump's pick was Judge Amy Coney Barrett, bolstered by many anti-abortionists. The president's decision to nominate an ideologically conservative justice is both hypocritical and damaging to the social progress made under former President Barack Obama. 

The Republican senators' endeavors to appoint a new justice right now is purely hypocritical. As the election approaches, it's ill-advised to appoint a new justice with the possibility of another party's member of becoming president. And conservatives understood this a few years ago. In 2016, Republican senators refused to even consider Obama's pick, Judge Merrick Garland, eight months prior to the election. That refusal was justifiable then, yet now, conservatives want to appoint Trump's nominee. The barring of justice appointments before an election shouldn't be driven by partisanship; it ought to be driven by fairness and consistency. 

Above all, by nominating a supreme court justice prematurely, the Trump Administration is stifling potential momentum for the election. Sitting at a 43% approval rating, according to Five Thirty-Eight polls, the president's early nomination could disincentivize his backers to vote for this election. While conservative Trump skeptics may dislike the president, many of them would still want a conservative justice. If a Democrat president were to win the race, that wish would shrivel up. And that degree of fear would keep many conservative skeptics voting for Trump. However, if the president prematurely nominates his pick, those skeptics would be demotivated to vote red this presidential election. 

The premature nomination of a justice before the election will not only be hypocritical but also counterproductive for the Trump Administration in preserving their already-stagnating support within the party. When Republicans decried Obama's justice pick in 2016, they claimed it was too close to the election to nominate justices. That was a valid claim, but now, Republican leadership wants to appoint a justice a few months prior to the election. And as the president's conservative skeptics consider voting, Trump will only demotivate them nominating a conservative justice into office prematurely. Nominating a justice this soon both demonstrates the Trump Administration's hypocrisy and will fail to preserve Trump's conservative support come the election. 

Armand Yazdani

Posted on September 26, 2020 17:47

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