The politics of judicial appointments.
On October 26, a week before the 2020 presidential election, the United States Senate voted 52 to 48 to confirm Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s third nominee to the United States Supreme Court. Every single Democrat voted against her, and every single Republican, save one, voted for her. Barrett was one of the most qualified nominees ever, with a stellar academic record, prestigious service in judicial clerkships, several years on the federal appellate bench, and before that a distinguished career as a Notre Dame law professor.
And yet, as the vote approached, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer gravely intoned that were Barrett confirmed, “Generations yet unborn will suffer the consequences…[a]s the globe gets warmer, as workers continue to fall behind, as unlimited, dark money floods our politics, as reactionary state legislatures curtail a woman’s right to choose, gerrymander districts, and limit the rights of minorities to vote.”
This was not the first time the American people had heard such language from a Democratic senator. Mere minutes after Ronald Reagan nominated Judge Robert Bork to the Supreme Court on July 1, 1987, Ted Kennedy took to the Senate floor to declare that if Bork were confirmed,
women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down
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