While we mourn the passing of the remarkable and accomplished Ruth Bader Ginsberg, we - and the GOP - have to face some political realities about an opening on the Supreme Court. Mitch McConnell announced his intention to push through a Trump SCOTUS nominee barely an hour after Ginsberg death hit the news, slapping everyone in the face with the callousness that the GOP has become.
But, Mitch, you should be careful what you ask for.
There are a handful of GOP Senators that have said they wouldn’t support voting on a Trump SCOTUS nominee so close to the election. But, let’s say they do and McConnell uses the strong-arm tactics to install a Trump extremist. Suddenly, a host of pressing legal issues, central to our democracy, will come to the forefront.
Roe v Wade? It’s in danger.
Separation of church and state? You know the right is salivating on this one.
Civil Rights and voting rights Law? Yep.
Police accountability? You bet.
LGBT marriage and workplace rights. Oh yes.
Transparency and spending limits in campaigns? Citizens United? Check.
Punishment for corruption of public officials and stronger penalties for white collar crimes? Certainly.
The list goes on and on.
With a GOP extremist-packed Supreme Court, voters will have no choice left to them. They will have to form movements to amend the Constitution to protect basic rights and democracy.
This will cause a big shift in campaigns over the next few decades. Rather than fretting about how a President will fill a slot on SCOTUS, the focus will shift to passing Constitutional amendments, impacting every single race for Congress and state legislatures. Not only will voters be faced with choices on how their state leaders will react to potential SCOTUS decisions, but also in how they might vote on potential Constitutional amendments.
All it will take will be a few reporters asking current state-level and Congressional candidates their position on a Constitutional amendment to protect Roe v Wade and the floodgates will open.
Sure, McConnell's strategy might strengthen support in blood-red states, but, with demographic shifts and the close races in purple states like NC, does the GOP really want this monkey on their back for the next few decades?
NC is a purple state. Even Berger and Moore are smart enough to realize that installing a Trump-pick in SCOTUS now will back NC GOP candidates for state offices into a corner.
The intense political fights of the future, with another Trump SCOTUS pick, will be at the state level. If Trump didn’t kill the GOP, McConnell and his SCOTUS push just might.