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It’s just one more oft-repeated headline from the weekend news cycle, that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) waited barely an hour after news broke to say that, “But, of course, we’ll replace the Honorable Associate Justice with just weeks to go before the election.”
In one of the, well, supreme odd ironies of that Friday night, for Donald Trump to have been more gracious than McConnell with Ms. Ginsburg’s passing.
“She led an amazing life. What else can you say. She is an amazing woman whether you agree or not, she was an amazing woman who led an amazing life,” Trump said. “It’s actually sad to hear that, I am sad to hear that.”
Yet, strangely, it fell to Trump’s 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton, to give voice, solace and hope to millions of Democrats simultaneously suddenly grieving Ginsburg and dispirited over Trump’s sudden ability to remake the nation’s highest court in a decidedly right-wing slant.
“This is a devastating personal loss for so many. But more than that, it is a devastating loss for our country,” the former secretary of state said via Twitter. “Her memory is already a blessing. May it also be a call to continue her work for justice and equality under the law.”
This is a devastating personal loss for so many. But more than that, it is a devastating loss for our country.
Her memory is already a blessing. May it also be a call to continue her work for justice and equality under the law.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 19, 2020
Perhaps Clinton’s outspokenness on Ginsburg’s passing makes a certain sense, given that it was her husband, President Bill Clinton, who appointed Ginsburg to the Supreme Court in 1993.
More importantly, than her condolences, during an appearance on MSNBC, the former senator from New York offered a three-part plan in an admittedly uphill battle to defeat McConnell’s intentions for a quick Trump court appointment:
- win over GOP senators on principle;
- pressure GOP senators in tight re-election bids;
- procedural obstacles in Senate.
“All of these things, you know, may be difficult. But let’s go down fighting,” she said.
There are a few Republican senators, such as Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah, who have spoken out against the unfairness of trying to fill a court vacancy approaching an election.
Meanwhile, there are others, including Susan Collins of Maine and Cory Gardner of Colorado, who are clearly struggling in their current re-election campaigns and could be convinced to cross McConnell to save their own hides.
Although there are fewer procedural obstacles Democrats can use now, there are some, such as refusing to accept any continuing resolutions or unanimous consent requests.
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