American History

FULL COURT PRESS

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the 87-year-old Supreme Court justice, died on September 18, 2020. Eight days later President Donald J. Trump announced that he would be nominating Appellate Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a 48-year-old conservative Republican, to replace the liberal Ginsburg, a Democrat. In a two-week span—October 12 through 26—Barrett was whisked through the Republican-controlled Senate on party line votes whose speed and timing stoked Democratic wrath. Vox populi, the Democrats argued, was due to speak on November 3, when the nation indeed did reject Trump’s bid for re-election. By quick-marching Barrett onto the High Court bench beforehand the incipient lame duck and his Senate partisans had pre-empted the people’s choice.

The Founders knew all about judicial power plays,

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