While the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg prompted widespread support and memorialization, it also spawned a new political battle.
Democrats have vowed to block a pre-election nomination. However, President Trump has already made his pick.
President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, is a judge on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago and is a favorite among social conservatives.
A stark contrast to Ginsburg, Barrett has a record of opposing progressive policies. She has a “clear anti-abortion rights judicial record,” Kate Smith of CBS News said. “During her three years on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, she has already ruled on two abortion-related cases, both times favoring restrictions on access to abortion.”
Whereas President Trump has referred to Barrett as “one of our nation’s most brilliant and gifted legal minds” and “a woman of unparalleled achievement,” Biden has described Barrett as having “a written track record of disagreeing with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act.”
Democrats are firing back, led by Biden who said, “The Senate shouldn’t act until after the American people select their next president and the next Congress.”
Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris tweeted, “This selection would move the court further right for a generation & harm millions of Americans.”
The real question is: What does this mean for the election?
Elaine Kamarck, Senior Fellow at Brookings, thinks this will have “either very little impact or none at all.”
On September 22, Biden was 6.6% points ahead of Trump, only a 1.2% difference from the February 1 polls, where he ran ahead of Trump by 5.4%
On the other hand, Michael Sean Winters from National Catholic Reporter believes that Ginsburg’s death will take the light off of COVID-19, therefore helping President Trump.
“The most obvious reason the court vacancy helps Trump is that the country is talking about something other than COVID-19,” Winters said.