In 2016 Lindsey Graham made an assertive statement in the wake of Justice Scalia’s death: “I want you to use my words against me. If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said, ‘Let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination,’ ” “And you could use my words against me and you’d be absolutely right.”
However, despite his statement, he has now taken back his words. In late September notorious justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away after a long and hard-fought battle with cancer. Now, Republican congressmen are redacting their 2016 statements and throwing their support behind President Trump’s nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
Coney Barrett is a federal appellate judge and Notre Dame Law school professor. She is a conservative leaning judge, and her placement on the Supreme Court would result in a 6-3 conservative leaning of the court.
Trump described her as a woman with “towering intellect” and a “unyielding loyalty to the Constitution.” He continued to note that she is one of the “nation’s most brilliant and gifted legal minds.”
Barrett was a follower and admirer of late Justice Scalia and she made the statement that “his judicial philosophy is [hers] too—a judge must apply the law as written.” She continued to say that “judges are not policymakers and that they must be resolute in setting aside any policy views they might hold.”
Some conservative commentators have applauded the President’s decision to choose Barrett as she might help President Trump to regain the respect from some conservative women who he as alienated.
Liberal commentators on the other hand are bemoaning the President’s decision. They maintain that the decision to proceed with a candidate given the precedent set in 2016 is a gross violation. Moreover, they have raised their concerns about the future of controversial court decisions such as Roe V Wade and other decisions impacting healthcare.
Overall, Barrett has a good chance of landing a seat on the supreme court given the Republican domination of the executive and legislative branches of government. However, with the President testing positive for COVID-19 along with a handful of other important senators, some speculate that the decision will have to be postponed, potentially to the extent that Trump is no longer the sitting president. Though only time will tell.