Does the Trump Administration know something we don’t?
From The Daily Wire:
White House aides are said to be preparing a shortlist of potential Supreme Court nominees in the event that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies or retires.
Ginsburg, 85, missed oral arguments this week for the first time since she was first appointed to the high court 25 years ago by President Bill Clinton. After missing arguments on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (for the record, she is reading transcripts of the sessions while she recovers from cancer surgery), the Trump White House began “reaching out to political allies and conservative activist groups to prepare for an ailing Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s possible death or departure from the Supreme Court — an event that would trigger the second bitter confirmation battle of President Donald Trump’s tenure,” according to Politico.
This would actually be the third bitter confirmation battle of Trump’s tenure, unless Politico thinks Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) going nuclear to get Neil Gorsuch confirmed doesn’t constitute a “bitter confirmation battle.”
Politico spoke to “a source familiar with those conversations” within the White House, who said the administration “is taking the temperature on possible short-list candidates, reaching out to key stakeholders, and just making sure that people are informed on the process.” This source emphasized that the White House is “doing it very quietly, of course, because the idea is not to be opportunistic, but just to be prepared so we aren’t caught flat-footed.” …
Amy Coney Barrett of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals was on Trump’s shortlist for the seat that went to Kavanaugh. My guess is that she’s moved to the top of Trump’s list now to replace the ailing Ginsburg.
Politico has more:
Ginsburg had a pulmonary lobectomy, the Supreme Court said in a statement, and her doctors said that post-surgery there was “no evidence of any remaining disease.” She has also recovered from several past health scares. But her departure from the Court would allow Trump to nominate a third Supreme Court justice — the most in one presidential term since President Ronald Reagan placed three judges on the highest court during his second term.
The nine-member court is currently divided 5-4 between its conservative and liberal wings. Ginsburg’s departure would allow Trump to create the Court’s strongest conservative majority in decades, a scenario sure to bring intense opposition from Democrats and liberal activists still furious over the October confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
“It would be a brutal confirmation,” said John Malcolm, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. “The first two were not easy at all, but this would be much harder in this respect: When Neil Gorsuch was the nominee, you were replacing a conservative with a conservative. With Kavanaugh, you were replacing the perennial swing voter, who more times than not sided with the so-called conservative wing, so that slightly solidified the conservative wing.”
“But if you are replacing Justice Ginsburg with a Trump appointee, that would be akin to replacing Thurgood Marshall with Clarence Thomas,” Malcolm added. “It would mark a large shift in the direction of the court.”
The White House is urging outside allies to be prepared for another bruising confirmation battle should Ginsberg’s health take a sudden turn for the worse…