How Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg can trump Trump in 2020
If it's true that what goes around comes around, then it stands to reason that whatever came around will eventually go around again – and again and again and again.
When associate justice of the Supreme Court Antonin Scalia died in February 2016, the Republican-led Senate refused to consider President Obama's appointment to fill the SCOTUS vacancy. The Republicans based their argument not to consider Obama's pick on the "Biden rule" – an idea conceived from a speech made by then-senator Joe Biden in 1992 where he argued if a SCOTUS seat became vacant during a presidential election year, the sitting president (Bush 41 at that time) should wait until after the election to appoint a replacement. The basic idea was to let the voters decide who should make the SCOTUS appointment. So the Biden rule had come around to bite the Democrats – and Obama's pick never got consideration.
The extra whammy of the Biden rule for the Republicans was giving Donald Trump a great campaign talking point. Trump pounded the SCOTUS appointment issue in every campaign speech, vowing to appoint a conservative constitutionalist in contrast to Crooked Hillary's probable choice. Most of the polls showed that Trump's rhetoric on the SCOTUS vacancy helped energize his base to get out their vote. The polls also indicated that the issue may have even pulled some undecided voters Trump's way. The rest is political history – as Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States and appointed Neil Gorsuch to the SCOTUS.
Fast-forward to today, where Justice Anthony Kennedy announced he is retiring this year, giving President Trump an opportunity to make a second SCOTUS associate justice appointment in less than two years. The Democrats are freaking out – and who can blame them? It's their worst nightmare: having a guaranteed 5-4 conservative majority for probably decades to come. And guess what the Democrats are arguing. That's right: the Biden rule. The Democrats are arguing that any replacement appointment should be made after the midterm elections, citing what the Republicans did to Obama's SCOTUS pick.
So is the Biden rule about to come back around to bite Trump and the Republicans? Unfortunately for the Democrats, it doesn't look as if it will this time. The Republicans argue that the Biden rule applies only to a presidential election year. Regardless of the over-the-top end-of-the-world protests and rhetoric expected from Democrats and the MSM, it looks as though President Trump's pick of Judge Brett Kavanaugh will most probably be confirmed.
This brings us to the big question of what the Democrats will do if 85-year-old Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg decides to retire, or passes away, within the next possible six and a half years of a Trump presidency.
OK, here's where the Biden rule starts come back around to possibly bite the Republicans.
You've heard it said that some Democrats are upset that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg didn't retire during Obama's presidency. It was a sure thing that if she had retired under Obama, whatever activist judge appointed to take her place would have been confirmed because the spineless Republicans would have done nothing to block the appointment – regardless if they held the Senate majority or not.
So the situation moving forward after Kavanaugh gets confirmed leaves Justice Ginsburg with only one political option. Justice Ginsburg will make one last liberal activist gesture and announce her retirement sometime in early 2020. By announcing her retirement, Ginsburg will redeem herself with the leftist Democrat party and be enshrined forever as the greatest SCOTUS judicial activist in history.
By announcing her retirement in a presidential election year, Justice Ginsburg all but guarantees that President Trump's replacement pick won't be considered until after the election – regardless of who has the Senate majority. If it's a Democrat-led Senate, majority leader Chuck Schumer will argue the Biden-Scalia rule precedent. And if it's a Republican-led Senate – well, Mitch, what goes around comes around.