Donald and Melania Trump Heckled and Booed off the Steps of the Supreme Court
President Donald and First Lady Melania Trump were pelted with jeers by protesters while they visited the casket of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Thursday, whose body is lying in repose outside the United States Supreme Court.
“Vote him out! Honor her wish!” were chanted by demonstrators who are incensed by Trump’s hasty push to appoint what would be his third addition to the High Court, with only 39 days until the November election.
Protesters chant: "Vote him out!" and "Honor her wish!" pic.twitter.com/uJ88bD98uc
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 24, 2020
Ginsburg, who once called Trump a “faker,” died at the age of 87 last Friday, on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, after a long bout with cancer. This fulfilled the dream of Trump and Republicans that Trump would get the opportunity to nominate her successor before the end of his first term.
Ginsburg’s dying wish, she told her granddaughter Clara days before her passing, was “that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
On Tuesday, a panel of former federal judges wrote a letter to McConnell urging him to hold off until after the election because hastily adding a new Justice this close to an election would irreparably imperil the legitimacy of the Court:
For the sake of the Court, we respectfully ask that you withhold consideration of any Supreme Court nominee until after the inauguration of the president chosen by the American public. The legitimacy of the Supreme Court is not something that can be recovered if it is lost. It is up to you to demonstrate the same restraint demanded of our judiciary.
But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has nontheless already wrangled enough votes within his caucus to move forward with the confirmation process, totally bucking the standard he set in 2016 that SCOTUS appointments should not be considered in an election year.
Trump confirmed earlier this week that he will announce his pick on Friday or Saturday.
The suspected top two contenders are both women: Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Judge Barbara Lagoa of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Other names, like Republican Senators Ted Cruz (TX) and Tom Cotton (AR), have inexplicably also been floated.
Trump has made no qualms about his desire to exploit the Supreme Court‘s conservative slant to his advantage in the event of a close, contested, messy election – largely because of the COVID-19 pandemic – which will strain the already struggling United States Postal Service with tens of millions of mail-in ballots.
With the High Court tilted even further to the right – 6-3 if Trump gets his way – there exists the real potential for the undoing of most, if not all, of the social progress this country has made since the end of the Second World War.
Civil rights, voting rights, reproductive rights, access to affordable and quality health care, integrated schools, public education, police accountability, checks on corporate power, limits to presidential authority, religious freedom, and the future of democracy in the United States are all in grave danger in the hands of a lopsided right-wing Court.
But hey, at least the Trump were wearing masks today. Small wins.