Women pay tribute in the United States Supreme Court to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on September 18, 2020. -
Lenin Nolly / Sipa USA / SIPA
From our correspondent in the United States,
From our correspondent in the United States,
It's a decision that could have a profound impact on American society for the next 30 years.
While Donald Trump has promised to appoint a woman to the Supreme Court by the end of the week to succeed Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Friday, an unprecedented battle began in the Senate within six weeks of the presidential election of November 3.
And the Republicans, who quickly turned their jackets after refusing to confirm Obama's candidate 9 months before the 2016 election, have all the cards in their hands.
Why Democrats Are Screaming at "Hypocrisy"
In 2016, when Conservative Judge Scalia died nine months before the election, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to hold a vote - or even a hearing - for Barack Obama's chosen candidate, Merrick Garland. , in order to "let the people choose" during the presidential election.
His colleague Lindsey Graham goes even further, and says, “I want you to use my words against me.
If there's a vacancy in a Republican president's final year in office, you can tell them Lindsey Graham has said the next president gets to choose.
“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. "Pic.twitter.com/quD1K5j9pz
- Vanita Gupta (@vanitaguptaCR) September 19, 2020
Fast forward four years later: feminist and progressive icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, died 46 days before the poll.
And in a beautiful exercise of contortion, McConnell and Graham ensure that it is their "duty" to choose a replacement.
Their logic is that the situation is different: the Democrats did not have a majority in 2016. According to them, the Americans voted for the Republicans in 2018, in particular to confirm the judges chosen by Donald Trump.
With the majority, nothing prevents the Republicans from proceeding
The US constitution is pretty vague on the Supreme Court.
The President has the power to appoint a candidate, and the Senate the power to confirm it.
For the rest, the founding fathers did not specify anything, neither on the number of judges at the Court nor on the holding of hearings in Congress.
In the past, a judge's confirmation could be done in a matter of weeks.
But since the 1980s, the average has been two months.
Republicans can therefore in theory hurry to vote before November 3.
Or, even if Joe Biden and the Democrats win in the Senate, during the transition period ("lame duck") before the new elected officials take power in January.
A fragile majority of 3 votes (and maybe less)
At present, the Republicans have a majority of three votes (53-47).
Two moderate senators, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, have indicated they want to wait until after the election.
Mitch McConnell can still lose a vote (in the event of a 50-50 tie, Vice President Mike Pence would tip the scales).
All eyes are therefore on Mitt Romney - the only elected Conservative who voted to condemn Donald Trump during his impeachment trial.
But Tuesday evening, all the other uncertain elected officials indicated that they would vote with their party.
WHIP COUNT - Republican senators on moving forward with Trump's SCOTUS nominee this year
(** four 👎 votes stops the nomination * *)
- Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) September 21, 2020
If they manage to vote before November 3, the Republicans could in theory pass in force - and thank in the passage the Democrats who lowered from 60 to 50 the number of votes necessary to confirm the judges.
But if the vote takes place during the transition period, between November 3 and January 20, the senatorial in Arizona could see ex-astronaut Mark Kelly, in case of victory, bring one more voice to Democrats ( this is a “special election” to replace the late John McCain, and the winner doesn't have to wait until January to take office).
Two favorite women
To succeed “RGB”, two women hold the rope.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett, 48, is a devout Catholic who is accused by her critics of letting her faith guide her decisions.
Opposed to abortion, she could help the court reverse the landmark Roe v.
Wade, who legalized abortion across the country.
Barbara Lagoa, 52, is a Cuban magistrate born in Florida.
This choice could allow Donald Trump to boost his chances in this state which will be crucial for November 3.
Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Barbara Lagoa are holding the rope to be appointed by Donald Trump to the Supreme Court.
A double-edged bet for the Republicans, and a risk of escalation
Mitch McConnell is a skilled tactician but he has to be careful not to strain his hand.
According to two polls in recent days, only a third of Americans believe that Donald Trump should appoint a judge before the presidential election.
And Democrats have exploded all their donation records after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg: $ 91.4 million for the organization ActBlue and $ 22 million for the "Get Mitch or Die Trying" campaign. trying), which fund Democratic candidates.
"It is not excluded that this will turn against the Republicans, who could lose the White House, the Senate and the House," said Chris Edelson, professor of political science at the American University of Washington.
According to him, there is a "worrying risk of escalation", with Democrats who could take revenge and change the number of Supreme Court justices to rebalance the forces.
Progressive elected Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez warned: “Mitch McConnell is playing with fire.
United States: "The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, more than an upheaval for the presidential campaign"
US presidential election