October 25, 2020

Should the United States People Have a Say in Who the Supreme Court Nominee Is?

During the debate last week, Chris Wallace’s first question went about like this:

WALLACE: [00:01:56]

My first question to both of you tonight: Why are you right in the argument you make and your opponent wrong, and where do you think a Justice Barrett would take the Court?

BIDEN: [00:04:20]

The American people have a right to have a say in who the Supreme Court nominee is, and that say occurs when they vote for United States senators and when they vote for the President of the United States. They’re not going to get that chance now because we’re in the middle of an election already. The election has already started. Tens of thousands of people already voted. And so the thing that should happen is we should wait. We should wait and see what the outcome of this election is because that’s the only way the American people get to express their view, is by who they elect as President and who they elect as Vice President.

Debate Transcripts

And that right there illustrates that the Courts are no longer what they should be.

The Courts are supposed to be arbiters between people or groups. They’re job is to determine how to apply the law, to be just. Someone said that they are to be umpires, who call balls and strikes. That’s not what we’re seeing here.

To imply that who gets to be a jurist on the Supreme Court should be decided by the public– regardless of whether it’s the GOP or the Democrats making this argument– is saying that the jurists are expected to be political, with specific views and political motivations. If these justices were expected to objectively read and apply the law, then it would not matter which President appointed them– because their job would be the same.

This would also make more sense of the Senate’s advise and consent role.

The Founders would not have expected a process whereby jurists in good standing would not get on a court because of their personal views. They would expect that they could hold personal views and yet follow the law. Today we send candidates through hearings that are designed to filter out positions and views on everything from abortion to same sex marriage– because these have been brought to life by the court rather than the legislature.

So the courts have been corrupted, which lead to contentious judicial hearings, which has led to the nuclear option, and now this fight in an election year.

Tell me again, which side has weaponized the courts to pass their agenda again?

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