Supreme Court battle

  

Re: “Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87” by Adam Liptak, Sept. 20-26, 2020 page 15A:

The untimely death of the Supreme Court icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg has injected another heated controversy into American political life. How this controversy is managed in terms of national politics will have an impact on the November elections and their aftermath. 

Should the Republican majority in the Senate confirm a Trump Supreme Court nominee either before the November elections or during the Congressional lame duck session following them, the consequences for the country are problematic.

An already divided nation will witness the deepening of antipathies between Democrats and Republicans. The legitimacy of the Supreme Court as a revered institution of American government will be challenged. The respect for traditional norms of American political life will be further eroded. And the credibility of the Republican Party will be damaged in light of its present intent to confirm a presidential nominee to the court, setting aside its policy on Supreme Court confirmations in the last year of a presidential administration implemented in 2016. 

History does not repeat itself. However, it does – in the words of Mark Twain – often rhyme. Some of the most authoritarian governments in modern history have come to power through constitutional means, employing an incremental, step-by-step approach. Any single change to the constitutional order may not appear overly dramatic given circumstances at any point in time, but the cumulative effect as seen from hindsight can and did signal an erosion of liberty and democracy.

It is to be hoped that wisdom and a commitment to the spirit and intent of the Constitution prevail among Republicans in the Senate.  

BM Diamondstein

Eastside