.Given the fact that President Biden has been given the opportunity to select the person to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created with the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer, I accepted the reality that the person would be from the left. I am comforted by the fact that – as fate would have it – the new justice would be replacing a justice of the same ilk.
I also accepted that it would be a black woman – as Biden had promised in the campaign. Ethnicity or gender makes no difference to me. One can argue that such physical traits would not be the primary consideration, but it has in the past whenever some “glass ceiling” has been broken.
I am, however, a bit disappointed in Biden’s final selection of judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Of the three finalists – which were the only three in contention from the onset – Biden picked the one to the farthest left. But that is only a matter of degrees. Still, it does give Republicans reason to suggest that Biden is a puppet of the more radical wing of the Democratic Party.
I was in the same camp as Republican South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham and Democrat South Carolina Democrat Congressman James Clyburn – both of whom were pushing for South Carolina Judge Michelle Childs. I saw her as the better of the three available options.
Biden says he would like to see a bipartisan vote. Of course, that is a wide range of possibilities. One Republican vote would make it bipartisan in his judgment – just as the left claims Pelosi’s kangaroo Select Committee is bipartisan. The vote on the Ruth Bader Ginsburg (96 to 3) was truly bipartisan. I believe that the vote on Jackson will be somewhere between one Republican and most Republicans.
Unless there are some serious discoveries in Jackson’s past – I mean serious – she will get confirmed. And she was already confirmed by the Senate for her current seat on the federal court. So, is there any value in Republicans fighting over marginal issues of philosophy? Methinks not.
It is the right of Biden to make the pick. He would have the 51 votes (including the Vice President) he needs to get Jackson confirmed. Her presence on the high Court does not significantly affect the philosophic balance. By an objective measure, Jackson has the resume for a Supreme Court Justice. Not liking the President’s choice is not sufficient reason – in and of itself – to reject a qualified nominee.
Any political opposition to Jackson will be spun by Democrats and their media pals as racist and sexist. There is no reason for Republicans to allow that bogus issue to come to the fore of national political discourse. Conversely, there are good arguments why Republicans should not fight on this hill.
Democrats are already speculating and counting on Republicans to mount a major campaign objecting to the appointment. They believe it would hurt Republicans among independents and fallen-away Democrat voters in the 2022 midterm election.
THAT is exactly why the GOP should take a pass on this point-of-contention. There is no win for Republicans in this situation. But they can avoid some damage by not getting suckered into the Democrats’ strategy.
Some argue that a symbolic fight has it own benefits. I say, “nonsense.” Some enjoy the fight for the sake of the fight. They are the barroom brawlers of politics – enjoying the fight without a greater objective.
If I were a Republican member of the Senate, I would vote for confirmation as long as nothing untoward is revealed in the hearings – and then work hard to make sure we get a President in 2024 who will appoint judges and justices more to my liking.
So, there ‘tis.