And Trampling The Constitution At The Same Time
I have been silent for some time about the present political atmosphere in the United States during the pre-election frenzy – but the recent actions of The Left after the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg have risen to a new low (sic): mass violation of the oaths of office of public officials having sworn to “preserve and protect the Constitution of the United States.”
Before I proceed, let me say I am “Pro-Choice” with sane medical and ethical limits. I am a Moderate, with views peppered with aspects of both Conservatism and Liberalism: call me a “Liberative” American. I don’t fit into any specific box on a category list. So, I am not writing this because I favor the current Administration, or its Opponents.
The politicians presently working the American public with sentiment-based appeals to postpone selection of Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s successor to the Supreme Court bench, such as Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Chuck Shumer, are making statements that the President has “sunk to a new low, not respecting the dying wish of a great American woman.”
No American elected official, or high Appointee of such an official, gets to pick his or her own successor. That is how dynasty is created, which is why the Founders and Framers did not allot such a power to anyone. The Constitution of the United States reserves that right for The People of The United States, who make the choice during elections.
In sum, the US Constitution provides that a Supreme Court Justice is appointed by The President, and the Senate is to advise and consent. An approved Justice serves a term for life or retirement at his or her own discretion.
Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s life ended a few days ago. Her term ended when she passed away. What are the two Democratic Party arguments the current President and Senate should not appoint her successor until after the coming Election?
- The President and Senate are too close to an election that might replace them, to make such an important choice.
- Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s alleged dying wish was that she would not be replaced until after the coming election.
Both arguments are short work to nullify.
Firstly, there is nothing in the Constitution saying a President and Senate should stop thinking of themselves as President and Senate at some arbitrary barrier point on the timeline before a Presidential election. The line of thought is purely self-serving rationalizing in defiance of the direct prescriptions of The Constitution.
Democratic President Jimmy Carter was in a flurry of fully presidential action until mere minutes before Ronald Reagan took the Oath of Office; and Carter was a one-term lame duck at the time! Talk about “lack of mandate!” Carter was acting to rescue the lives of the hostages held for 444 days in Iran. He was fully Presidential until 12:01 on Inauguration Day for Ronald Reagan.
Senator Schumer said as recently as 21 September, “This President and Senate have no right to fill the vacancy.” This is nothing more than a lie.
It is, according to the Constitution, their duty to fill the vacancy. Not merely their right – their duty. They took oaths to “preserve, protect, and defend The Constitution of The United States.”
Secondly, to Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s alleged dying wish – “alleged” because we only know of it through the reportage of her one granddaughter’s testimony that Ginsberg said it.
Imagine President Trump being stricken by Covid 19 and dying mere days before the election: and being alleged by Ivanka to have said just before dying, “My most fervent wish is that Mitch McConnell would succeed me as President.”
The President does not have the Constitutional right to pick, or even influence the choice of, his successor: that right belongs to The People of The United States, who picked his successor during the last election: the successor is the Vice-President of The United States; and if there is an election, the successor is whoever The People of The United States elect.
Justice Ginsberg is a great loss to The Left. That is no joke.
Yet – she does not get to pick her successor; and there is no ethical mandate to follow her wish; and there is the solid anti-dynastic concern of the Framers to countervail such a dying statement, if it was, indeed, spoken.
However, there are fully Constitutional remedies available to the Left: the Senate (presently Republican) advises and consents to the presently Republican President’s choice ––– but, The House of Representatives sets the number of Justices on the Supreme Court.
If Joe Biden wins the coming election, The House can increase the number of Justices from nine to eleven –– and Biden can then appoint two liberal lions to replace Ginsberg.
The real fear among the Democrats is that if the coming election ends up before The Supreme Court as did the Bush v. Gore election – a Republican majority on The Court bodes ill for Democratic hopes of victory. This seems the real reason for the Democratic sentiment-barrage, more so than fears of loss of Roe v. Wade.
I would say to the Democrats – who represent a goodly number of my own platform ideals: please stop acting like low-life schoolyard kids in a “snap-fight” – and start acting like educated, rational adults seeking to enfranchise crucial ideas that might literally have the fate of the human race in embedded in them?
We can continue to labor for “a more perfect Union” ––– without resorting to maudlin appeals to sentiment in defiance of the direct prescriptions of our Constitution – or whining.
Please –no more of the whining from people presently out of power.
If you want to be in power in the United States, you simply need to figure out how to get your side elected by The People of The United States.
We, The People, are right here. We will vote. Convince us.
To get a majority of our votes for sound reasons, you must convince us your ideas are better than those of your political opponents. It is as simple as that.
I emphasize “political” opponents, because we are all on the same side: the American side. I echo the dying wish of the recently passed Senator John McCain, who pleaded for both houses of our Congress to “return to the normal order of business” – in which both Parties call the people of the Other Party, “my fellow Patriots across the aisle” and “my Learned Opponents.”
In the Two Testaments of the Bible – the “spirit of confusion” is when people on the same side fight each other instead of their true enemies. And the New Testament delivers the caution, “Take care that you not bite and devour each other, lest you fully consume each other.” If every Democrat and every Republican destroys their counterparts – no functional version of America may survive.
Let us not forget: The United States of America’s constitutional republic is still “the last, best (governmental) hope of humankind.”
Bruce Louis Cohen
22 September 2020
New York City