Justice Breyer’s Retirement Sets up a Major Litmus Test for Republicans – Opinion

As Opinion reported earlier, Justice Stephen Breyer is reportedly retiring on the finish of this Supreme Courtroom time period. Together with his pending retirement, Republicans are shortly splitting into two colleges of thought on what to do subsequent.

On one aspect, you may have those that don’t consider any sort of battle is definitely worth the bother as a result of Democrats will undoubtedly have the votes to verify a alternative. On the opposite aspect, you may have those that assume the GOP ought to take a stand, make the case towards whoever Biden nominates, after which go on document towards them, even realizing that, ultimately, they don’t have the votes.

And whereas I do know there are these within the conservative enviornment I work together with who will disagree, you possibly can put me firmly within the second camp of pondering.

Maybe my reminiscence is simply too lengthy, however I can’t overlook how Democrats have handled the final three Supreme Courtroom battles. Even when one needs to imagine that the accusations round Kavanaugh represented a particular state of affairs that led to a extremely partisan vote, that sort of habits was hardly new. We noticed the identical theatrics play out throughout the Reagan years with the destruction of Robert Bork and later, with the tried destruction of Clarence Thomas.

Regardless of that, throughout the Obama years, Republicans largely performed good. They handed Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who has grow to be an absolute nightmare on the courtroom, 9 votes for affirmation. That represented almost 25% of the GOP membership on the time. When it got here to Justice Elana Kagan, Sen. Lindsey Graham really voted to ship her out of committee. She then acquired 5 Republican votes regardless of having no judicial expertise in any respect.

Was that spirit of congeniality in Supreme Courtroom confirmations carried over into the Donald Trump years? The reply is a powerful no. In truth, Democrats appeared to overlook all in regards to the previous bipartisan votes, treating each open emptiness as a name to struggle. Justice Neil Gorsuch bought three Democrat votes, together with Sen. Joe Manchin and two different moderates who’re not in workplace. Brett Kavanaugh, after having his life basically destroyed, acquired a single Democrat vote, once more coming from Manchin. Amy Coney Barrett, a really regular, mundane nominee, acquired zero Democrat votes in what represented an extra polarization of the method.

Given all that, why ought to Republicans reset the deck and begin handing Democrat nominees votes once more? Particularly when Joe Biden is sort of assured to appoint a far-left ideologue? With Democrats already on the ropes, that is the time to color a transparent distinction for voters earlier than the mid-terms. The possibility to try this is with intense questioning throughout the hearings, but in addition in taking a stand with the ultimate vote. There isn’t a motive to assist Biden and his cohorts alongside on this course of. Let the Democrats absolutely personal the affirmation of whoever is chosen.

For Republicans, I believe this units up a slightly essential litmus take a look at. Who’s going to maintain leaning into the delusion that we are able to roll the clock again to the mid-2000s vs. who understands the present political setting and what we’re up towards? You aren’t going to attraction the left into not being insane by giving them votes on a Supreme Courtroom nominee nor do they deserve such an olive department. That doesn’t imply Republicans need to go scorched earth the best way Democrats did with Brett Kavanaugh, but it surely does imply an organized, sharp opposition ought to happen. This shouldn’t be made a cakewalk.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski is going through a troublesome major problem heading into November’s election. She needs to be held accountable for a way she votes. Let’s additionally see what Sen. Lindsey Graham does in mild of his penchant for rubber-stamping Biden nominees. There are others to contemplate as nicely. Republicans could not have the ability to cease Breyer’s alternative, however they’ve an opportunity to make an announcement. Those that select to go alongside to get alongside after the Trump years will deserve heavy scrutiny.

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