I suppose this is where most bloggers and pundits would say nice things, but I don’t feel a need to say nice things about evil people who are responsible for the legality of mass murder in the form of abortion. Good riddance, and it took too long.
Senator McConnell has already said there will be a vote for Trump’s nominee (the reason being that Trump is not a lame duck president, unlike Obama in 2016). That doesn’t mean much though – it only means McConnell will arrange a vote. Plenty of Republican Senators, such as Romney and Collins, may vote no to spite Trump. Then again, if Trump nominates the right person, and if the internal polling is right, they may be forced to support the nominee. In fact, many D’s may be forced to confirm Trump’s nominee. Lets look at the possible outcomes:
- Dems Lose the Senate. There is nothing they can do. If they can keep the house, they can initiate legislation that messes with the courts.
- Dems win the Senate. They then pack the court, impeach and remove judges and justices, or do both. All “victories” are quickly nullified.
How We Can Guess the Nominee’s Identity
As per WHO will replace RBG, let’s take Trump’s list of nominees and see who has an Ivy League education and actual experience in the courts. As you will see below, there are really only two or three highly likely nominees.
Keep in mind the nomination process is incredibly political. Even the most conservative Senators are liberal in how they view campaign optics, so that means they are conscious of race and gender when it comes to the makeup of the Supreme Court. The majority needed to confirm a candidate doesn’t care about competency. Even worse, its an election year with many states on the line. Expect massive pandering.
Trump’s “Short list” of potential nominees is provided below. We will presume (or maybe even assume) the nominee will come from this list. From this list we will nix all 9th Circuit judges (safe spots he needs to leave alone), politicians and ambassadors (same reason), as well as employees of the Trump White House (moderate senators will never support a Trump staffer, and the confirmation process would be brutal.
Bridget Bade of Arizona, judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Daniel Cameron of Kentucky, Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas Senator Ted Cruz of Texas Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri Christopher Landau of Maryland, United States Ambassador to Mexico Lawrence VanDyke of Nevada, judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Kate Todd of Virginia, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel to the President
I see no reason to believe Trump will deviate from the tradition of promoting Ivy Leaguers, especially since he is an East Coast guy who likes credentialism, and is completely unfamiliar with the Court system and those who are in it. While we are here, I will also eliminate all white males from the likely nominee list. Pros/cons are likely news talking points, as well as considerations a person would make if nominating someone. After J. Kavanaugh’s debacle, I expect the nominee to be female, as any male will be falsely accused of some ridiculous sexual crime/act from decades ago, and not everyone keeps calendars from junior high.
Paul Clement of Virginia, former Solicitor General of the United States. Harvard Stuart Kyle Duncan of Louisiana, judge on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Columbia Steven Engel of the District of Columbia, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice. Harvard and Yale Cons: W bush, white male Pro: clerked on 9th Cir & for J. Kennedy. Noel Francisco, former Solicitor General of the United States. U of Chicago cons: male pro: Asian James Ho of Texas, judge on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. U of Chicago. Cons: Male, vocal conservative, was born in Taiwan and the China lovers in congress will have a field day with him. birthright citizenship advocate. pro: Asian Gregory Katsas of Virginia, judge on the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals. Princeton/Harvard. Carlos Muñiz of Florida, justice on the Supreme Court of Florida. Yale. Cons: Male, looks white Peter Phipps of Pennsylvania, judge on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Stanford.
- Sarah Pitlyk of Missouri, judge on the District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. Yale
- cons: clerked for Kavanaugh and stood by him. Could be an issue. White. Sen. Collins voted against her confirmation.
- Pro: nominated by trump before and confirmed.
Allison Jones Rushing of North Carolina, judge on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Duke. Cons: not Ivy league, affiliated with ADF. Confirmed on a party line vote. Barely confirmed. pros: clerked for Gorsuch and Thomas. Nominated by Trump and confirmed.
- Barbara Lagoa of Florida, judge on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Columbia
- Pro: Hispanic Woman, Florida, former State Supreme Court justice. Nominated by Trump and confirmed 80-15.
- cons: really none that I see from a cursory glance.
- Martha Pacold of Illinois, judge on the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. U of Chicago.
- Pro: midwest, nominated by trump before and confirmed 87-3. Clerked for J. Thomas
- Con: another catholic private school kid.
If we presume Trump and the GOP will replace Ginsburg with another female and minority nominee, the smart money is on Barbara Lagoa, who has had a career breaking glass ceilings. Her heritage will force democrats to confirm her, lest they earn the scorn of Floridians and Hispanics.