If you believe, we’ve witnessed, a significant change (not, for the better), in this nation, in the past, approximately, dozen years, you are not alone! In, nearly every aspect of our lives, living conditions, and civility towards others, it should be concerning, to all of us, regardless of any political preferences, etc! Perhaps, more than anywhere else, this has been magnified, in the significance of the Supreme Court, and how politicians, etc, have tried to manipulate its membership, etc! However, it must be recognized, this Court has gotten involved in significant matters/ decisions, in the past, and one decision, which should come, to – mind, is the landmark – decision, which determined the Presidential election of 2000, by deciding to end – the – recount, in Florida, which, effectively, decided the election, in favor of Bush. In the past few years, the supposed, Balance of Power, which our Founding Fathers, felt, was essential, has become blurred, and few believe, we still have any semblance of an independent judiciary. In the past decade, or so, the combination of extreme – partisan politics, rule – changes, etc. has significantly, manipulated, the essential, make – up, of the Supreme Court! With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, 5 key events, which were largely responsible, for this occurrence.
1. Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: When the Democrats, last controlled the United States Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid, led a significant change, by eliminating the requirement for 60 Senators to approve a lower – Court Judge. He claimed, at the time, it was because, then – Minority Leader McConnell, refused to permit votes on these individuals, and to avoid a stagnated scenario, he thought, it was necessary. Whether, he made the correct decision, at the time, or not, or truly, believed, he did what was needed, and necessary, it set what some, later, considered, a precedent, and, now – Majority Leader McConnell, has used effectively, to manipulate the composition of the courts. It demonstrates, how political actions, often bring about unwanted ramifications, some time, in the future!
2. 2016 – McConnell refusing to permit Obama’s nominee, for the Supreme Court, to the floor of the Senate: In, early 2016, after the death of Justice Scalia, President Obama submitted the name of Merrick Garland, to be his nominee, to serve. It seemed, somewhat, odd, at the time, the Republicans were so intransigent, claiming, a supposed, precedent, in a President’s last year of his term in office, because, Garland was originally, strongly endorsed and supported by the Republican Senator from Utah, when he was originally nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals. We later, realized, this was a stalling – tactic, in order to mold the court, if a Republican, became President, in that year’s election (which happened).
3. 2017 Changing the Reid Rule, to apply to SCOTUS: In 2017, McConnell realized, he would not be able to achieve, the 60 – vote, plateau, and, then, proceeded, to change the rule, and instead of that requirement, made it a simple majority. It guaranteed Trump’s first nominee’s appointment, since his party, controlled the Senate!
4. 2018 Kavanaugh hearings: As contentious, as the first selection, was, the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, in 2018, was even, more so! The quest for background information, and, certain discoveries, in, more normal times, might have eliminated, this choice, and process, but, it didn’t seem to make much of a difference, this time!
5. 2020 Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg/ appointment of Barrett: Many consider, pushing through, this replacement, during an horrific pandemic, so close to an election, especially, considering the Republican reasoning, during the Garland nominations, was the essence of hypocrisy! In fact, it was not merely that, but an amazing demonstration, of effectively, manipulating, and stacking, the composure, of the Supreme Court! In nearly, record – setting, time, a woman, who Trump nominated in 2017 to the Court of Appeals, who had no previous Judicial, or courtroom experience. as his nominee for SCOTUS. It became the first time, since the 19th Century, any Justice, was approved, without, even, a single vote, from the other party! Obviously, actions have ramifications!
Our Balance of Powers seems to be failing us, and if it does, the very soul, and nature, of our nation, may be permanently destroyed! If, we can’t count – on, the Courts, to be a fair arbiter, our American Way of Life, may be altered, forever!