What happens when Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaves the Supreme Court?
With the confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh over, perhaps now is a good time to look at the recent history of appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court with an eye to the future.
Start with Neil Gorsuch, now an associate justice. Gorsuch was nominated by President Donald Trump to succeed Antonin Scalia, and he took the oath of office in April 2017. The Democrats kicked up a storm at Gorsuch's confirmation hearings, but it was relatively mild, given the highly polarized political environment of the time. He was confirmed 54-45.
The reason for this is that Gorsuch was replacing Scalia, a conservative giant on the Court. Yes, the Democrats were smarting from the masterful maneuvering by Mitch McConnell to prevent Barack Hussein Obama from appointing Scalia's successor, but they could remain semi-civil during the confirmation process because Gorsuch did not alter the Court's balance.
Next came the retirement of Anthony Kennedy, the infamous swing vote on the Court. For his replacement, President Trump selected an outstanding legal mind and judge: Brett Kavanaugh. The media have been filled with reports on the hysterics the left has been going through in an attempt to derail the Kavanaugh appointment, so there's no need to rehash that here.
The reason for the uproar over Kavanaugh is that he will somewhat shift the Court to the right – that is, to a more sane and originalist bent. With Kavanaugh on the Court, in critical cases, the votes will probably be a predictable 5-4. But if Kavanaugh were replacing, say, Clarence Thomas, the reaction to his nomination would not be as over-the-top and hateful as it is now. The Democrats would see it as a trade-off, one they could live with.
I think you can see where this is going. The trajectory of the opposition of President Trump's appointments to the Supreme Court, from Gorsuch to Kavanaugh, tells us what is most likely to happen when Ruth Bader Ginsburg goes. And she's likely to go sooner rather than later. Why? First off, she's 85 years old. Second, the woman is in poor health. See her in this recent YouTube clip. It is a crying shame that someone in this physical condition is allowed to maintain such an influential position on our lives. Here Ginsburg is mimicking the clinging leftist Thurgood Marshall, who spent his last days drooling from the bench.
Ginsburg has been a leftist delight on the Court. Her replacement by a Republican president will set the Democrats, the media, and the left aflame. The swamp creatures that crawled out of the muck to oppose Kavanaugh will seem cuddly and tame compare to what Ginsburg's replacement will face. It would not be surprising if the left resorted to systematic violence. The hysteria of the entire coalition of the left – Democrats, media, the swamp – will be off the charts.
In a way, the Kavanaugh hearings are a good warm-up for the Republicans. They will know what to expect, times ten.
Here's the question: will the Republicans have the backbone to appoint an originalist to replace Ginsburg or not? I feel confident that Trump would, but I worry about the squishes in the Senate. They might look for a compromise candidate to placate the Democrats. They'd want input from the likes of Chuck Schumer. The best insurance against this type of backsliding would be for the GOP to increase its Senate majority in November to give the president more of a margin against RINO backsliding.