Florida. And in this chaotic 2020 also Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. It is not a normal election year in the U.S and there are fears for a scenario after the vote on November 3 that could overshadow the legal drama that George Bush and Al Gore fought two decades ago in the Supreme Court to win the presidential election. The death of the judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg it is a true political bomb that further complicates this worst hypothetical scenario.
“It will be a Florida multiplied by ten “, predicts Sylvia Albert from the Common Cause organization. Donald Trump, the contender, and Joe Biden, the contender, face this Tuesday in the first debate of the campaign. The two, the experts agree, Their rhetoric contributes to unusually fierce litigation in several states at once. Then there are the delays in voting by mail, which is expected to be massive due to the coronavirus. That would leave the result in the air.
The president also You are anticipating absentee voting fraud without evidence. The Democrats, for their part, suffered several defeats in the Supreme Court this year in cases related to the right to vote in the generals and there are currently more than 300 legal actions in 44 states related to the coronavirus. Most are concentrated in states where early elections will be very tightlike Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
Trump already tried before Ginsburg’s death that the Supreme Court was a central issue to achieve reelection. Now has a unique opportunity to cement the conservative majority 6-3 with a third nomination in his first term, which would join those of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaught. At the same time, the vacancy opens an unexpected escape route by allowing divert attention to your management of the health crisis and economic crash.
The nominee is the judge Amy Coney BarrettBorn in Indiana and known for her Catholic, conservative, and pro-life views. The deep political division that emerged with Barack Obama made the Supreme Court a key institution in the country’s government. The new composition, therefore, will a deep mark on labor issues, on the right to abortion, health, gender equality, minorities and voting. It can also influence jurisprudence beyond the US, in the field of environmental protection.
The confirmation process of the Supreme Court judges thus became in recent years an extremely political and the vacancy has the potential to mobilize voters of the two parties in the final stretch of the elections. That is why the Republicans in the Senate want to go fast, anticipating a scenario in which the court will have to intervene. If the president is able to install the replacement on time, it will help you resolve any disputes in your favor.
That scenario would do nothing but deepen the political divide and cause a constitutional crisis that would threaten the institution’s reputation as an independent arbitrator. “It will be terrible”, as Paul Smith values from Georgetown, “if the president is seen as illegitimate and the court as an accomplice.” The argument of Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Upper House, is that they must move forward because the Republicans control both the White House and the Senate.
The risk for conservatives, however, is that if the majority of the electorate does not like the person elected, that could end up giving control of the White House and Senate to the Democrats. Trump’s strategy is to keep what he won in 2016 and add Minnesota. But the polls give Biden a comfortable lead in the Midwest and in the “Sun Belt.” There are also nine senators who see their seats in jeopardy, which would give Democrats a majority in the upper house.
Of the 35 seats up for grabs in the Senate, 23 are held by Republicans and 12 by Democrats. The Liberals have two at risk and, therefore, a net gain of four would be enough for them to gain control. If Joe Biden also wins the presidential elections, three would be enough because Kamala Harris, as vice president, breaks the tie. The vacancy at court, but nevertheless, can mobilize undecided conservatives toward Donald Trump’s field on the home stretch.
Biden does not have a defined list of candidates to fill the vacancy. At the beginning of the year, he did say that he would nominate a black woman if he won the election. But Democrats pressure him to take a position before the election and taking advantage of the political confrontation, he is even considering the possibility of increasing the number of judges that make up the institution to appease the Republicans. The Constitution does not establish an exact number.
Before Ruth Ginsburg’s death, the Supreme Court had a 5-4 majority in favor of the Conservatives. Even if your position remains vacant, the Liberals would need two more votes to have a majority in the decision in a hypothetical post-election clash. President John Roberts acted as a pivot between the two camps, in an attempt to prevent the court from being viewed as a partisan institution. If he joined the three remaining Liberals, that would create a tie.
That the 2020 elections were going to be contentious, was something that was already anticipated before the pandemic. That’s why so much Trump and Biden assembled legal teams made up of hundreds of lawyers, ready to dispute any questionable results and fight to the last vote in every state. The only thing that could prevent a Florida on steroids is a massive mobilization of the electorate, which clearly marks the holding of the result already at the beginning of the election night.