With Judge Amy Coney Barrett all but certain to serve as a Supreme Court justice, liberals are previewing their next line of attack.
As Republicans moved to squelch a final protest from Democrats over the weekend, two former law clerks of Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote an article for The New York Times attacking Barrett’s confirmation as a “threat” to the legitimacy of the Supreme Court itself, the Washington Examiner reported.
Dems, clerks question “legitimacy” of court
The Times’ article was published Sunday, as Republicans and Democrats clashed in one last debate over the nomination.
There are hints of a veiled threat as the authors, Jamie Crooks and Samir Deger-Sen, argued that the circumstances of Barrett’s nomination would somehow destroy the highest court — qualified though Barrett may be — and possibly justify retaliatory measures like court-packing.
“If Senate Republicans hastily confirm Judge Barrett in the middle of an election, when a clear majority of Americans would prefer that Congress focus on the nation’s economic recovery, that earned legitimacy will be put in jeopardy,” the pair wrote for the Times.
These complaints have echoed for weeks, as Democrats repeatedly attacked any attempt to fill the Supreme Court seat formerly held by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg prior to Election Day as rushed and illegitimate. Democrats have threatened “consequences,” like court-packing or an end to the filibuster, as payback.
But it was clear early on that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) would likely get his wish, and Democrats took another blow Saturday when Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), one of the only Republican senators to initially reject the nomination, changed course, as Fox News reported.
On her way to confirmation
Democrats have routinely brought up McConnell’s refusal to consider Judge Merrick Garland, Obama’s pick to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, in 2016 to accuse Republicans of hypocrisy. But Republicans have fired back that the scenario is not the same as then, since the White House and the Senate are controlled by both parties.
Democrats were up all night Sunday giving speeches into the early morning, but Republicans moved to limit debate to 30 hours, setting the stage for a final vote around 8 p.m. Monday night, Fox News reported.
“Senate Democrats are taking over the floor all night to fight this sham process by Senate Republicans,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said. “We will not stop fighting.”
McConnell seemed to relish the victory, boasting, “They won’t be able to do much about this for a long time to come.”
He went on: “This is something to really be proud of and feel good about. We made an important contribution to the future of this country.”