Buckle up, my friends.
If, as expected, President Trump announces, in the next couple of days, Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his choice to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the nation’s highest court, the war of words outside Washington will begin.
The public relations battle won’t change the outcome: Barrett will be confirmed to the Supreme Court unless Democrats can find enough procedural moves to block the vote.
The left doesn’t sound especially positive.
Their frustration has the potential to doom them if they opt to attack Barrett for being a staunch Catholic. That’s simply a bad idea. There’s a real risk that bashing her faith could turn away Catholic voters when the nation votes in the 2020 presidential election on Nov. 3.
All Supreme Court nominees are controversial; they have lots of judicial decisions behind them that can be scrutinized. They will either be the darlings of the left or the right, depending upon their previous rulings and the paper trail that explains those choices.
For conservatives and liberals, the arguments about Judge Barrett will sound similar: She has a consistent record. For liberals, that will be a siren that she will support the erosion of abortion rights, Title IX and more. For the right, her record will be interpreted as having the potential to overturn Roe v Wade and the Affordable Care Act, while also strengthening gun rights and limits on immigration.
Happy arguing, but remember…
Right now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has at least 51 Republican votes to support Barrett’s nomination; he only needs 50 (in the event of a 50-50 tie among senators, Vice President Mike Pence would then cast the deciding vote, and you know how that will go).
I wouldn’t count on two more Republican senators breaking with their party; and that means Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a married, Catholic, conservative and mother of 7 children, will be named to the Supreme Court.