Currently, the United States Supreme Court is comprised of four liberal judges, four conservative judges and one judge, Chief Justice Roberts, who no one knows where he truly stands lately.
Of the liberal judges, none are more outspoken against Republicans and conservatives that Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Before George W. Bush became president, Ginsberg began her public assault of him. In the famous Gore vs Bush decision on who really won the 2000 presidential election, Ginsberg wrote the dissenting decision against Bush. After George W. Bush became president, Ginsburg had no qualms of making her distaste for Bush known. There were frequent occasions when she lambasted Bush and his policies and to the best of my remembrance, I don’t think she ever voted for any case that favored Bush, nor has she voted for any case that went against Obama, of if she has they have been few and far between. Ginsberg also wrote a scathing dissent on the case with Hobby Lobby.
Ginsburg is 81 years old. During her routine exercise on Tuesday night, she experienced some intense discomfort and was taken immediately to MedStar Washington Hospital Center. After a thorough examination, doctors performed a coronary catheterization where they placed a stent in her right coronary artery. Doctors report that the procedure went well and that Ginsberg could leave the hospital within a couple days. She says she plans on returning to the bench on Monday.
Over the past few years, a number of people have called for Ginsberg to retire from the court, but she has always refused. Ginsberg has hinted of possibly stepping down from the court, especially after her husband died in 2010. Now with her health issues, she has a valid reason to step down if she so chooses.
Herein lies a possible scenario to consider. Normally, the process of approving a Supreme Court Justice is can be quite lengthy. After the president announces his nomination, the nominee is first subjected to hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. They interview and question the nominee along with a number of witnesses. At the end of the committee hearings, they vote on whether or not to send the nomination to the Senate floor. They can give a favorable, neutral or negative vote.
Once the nomination goes to the Senate floor, they can choose to conduct further interviews and question the nominee and various witnesses. When all that has been concluded, it only takes a majority vote to approve the nomination.
So what if Ginsberg decides to resign before the end of the year. With just over a month left before Republicans take control of the Senate, the chances are slim that Ginsberg’s replacement could be screened and approved in time. Even though the Democrats are still in control of the Senate, it’s very feasible that the Republicans could stall any confirmation until after January 4, when they assume control. In fact, the House and Senate shoot for a Christmas recess date of around Dec. 12, which is only 2 weeks away. Republicans could surely stall hearings for that long.
You know that Barack Obama would appoint another flaming liberal that hates conservatives, Christians and Republicans as much as Ginsberg, but there may not be time for him to get his nominee approved.
However, if Obama could convince Ginsberg to step down just after Congress recesses for the holidays, that would give Obama the opportunity to make a recess appointment, thus bypassing the need for Senate approval. Once Congress goes home for the holidays, Obama could appointment Ginsberg’s replacement and immediately place that person on the bench using the recess appointment.
If Obama really wants to catch Republicans off guard, he could nominate former Republican Senator John McCain to replace Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. That would garner Obama a lot of favor in people’s eyes. Then a few days later during the Christmas recess, he appoints a replacement for Ginsberg and uses his executive recess appointment to bypass the Senate.
In reality, this is the only chance Obama has to maintain the status quo of the Supreme Court for at least the next two years. In fact, if Obama appointed a young enough replacement for Ginsberg, that person could stand a chance of eventually becoming the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and wield a lot of power for liberals for years to come.
Would he really do this? Obama has used recess appointments in the past to bypass the senate and with his disregard of our constitutional system, yes, I believe that Obama would do it.
I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but like three weather fronts converging to form the Perfect Storm, Ginsberg’s health, the appointment of John McCain and the Christmas recess approaching, the timing would be right for Obama to act and act swiftly to replace Ginsberg.