By JOHN KANELIS / firstname.lastname@example.org
OK, how might the unfolding drama surrounding the selection of a Supreme Court justice play out?
I want to offer something of a best-case scenario for you to ponder. Ready? Here goes …
Congress stymies Donald Trump’s nominee, which he is going to announce in the next day or two or three. Democrats could pull off some political hocus-pocus to prevent the Senate from voting on a nominee prior to the Nov. 3 presidential election.
Then we elect Joe Biden president of the United States. The president-elect demands that the nominee withdraw. We go back to Square One.
Meanwhile, Democrats take control of the next Senate, possibly ousting the leading obstructionist in that body, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Mitch is out. Still following me? Good!
Then we swear in President Biden, who then gets to make a selection to succeed the legendary Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the high court. Is he obligated to select a woman? No. He hasn’t committed to anything in that regard. I mean, he did select a woman as vice president.
So, why not roll the dice and ask a highly regarded federal judge who once got tapped by President Obama. Yep, I refer to Merrick Garland, whom the Senate GOP stiffed when they refused to grant Obama’s selection a hearing, let alone an up/down vote to join the court after Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016.
I might be willing to bet real American money that Judge Garland would be up for a hearing before a Senate controlled by Democrats.
Is any of this likely? I have no idea. First things first: Democrats need to find a way to prevent Trump and McConnell from shoving the pending nominee down our throats and pushing the court so far to the right that it is in danger of destroying health care legislation, women’s reproductive rights and a host of other protections that prior courts have ruled to be constitutional.
A new president deserves the opportunity to make this call. Not one who well might get defeated, and certainly not a Senate that well could see control shift from one party to the other.
I am hopeful.