It was September 18, 2020. The death of an icon of the American left, Progressive Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, paved the way for President Donald Trump’s latest political stunt in the United States Supreme Court. In record time, the Republican president appointed Judge Amy Connie Barrett, with the support of the religious right, to the nation’s highest court. A provision in effect prior to the presidential election enabled him to assert a conservative majority in the Supreme Court, increased to six conservative justices versus three progressives.
Within four years, Donald Trump has appointed a third of the nine judges in this jurisdiction, which plays an essential role in the lives of American citizens. A balance of forces that allows, today, the Court to implement its project to abolish the right to abortion, which restores to each country the possibility of adopting its own law.
The start of a mandate has already been marked by a conservative shift
This power began with the inauguration of Donald Trump. In January 2017, conservative judge Neil Gorsuch appointed to replace Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016, during the final year of Barack Obama’s second term. At the time, the Senate – with a Republican majority – refused to hear the Democratic president’s proposed candidate, arguing that the election deadline was near.
In July 2018, Donald Trump appointed conservative Brett Kavanaugh, replacing 81-year-old Anthony Kennedy, who was appointed by Republican Ronald Reagan, before retiring after more than thirty years in the position. Brett Kavanaugh, a professed Catholic, is evidenced in this post by the firmness of his conservative positions, particularly on the subject of same-sex marriage and the right to abortion.
If it were up to the President of the United States to choose the nominees for the Supreme Court, “It is rather the ultra-conservative field that, through effective lobbying, has presented Donald Trump with candidates who serve their interests.”Marie Cecil Navis, professor of political science and director of research at the Institute for International Relations and Strategy (IRIS), to which the Republican is affiliated, analyzes, ‘Stranger in this ecosystem’, I followed these recommendations “for electoral reasons”.
The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg made a new reactionary turn
On September 18, 2020, the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Progressive Dean of the Supreme Court, marks a new war for succession within the highest legal body in the United States. The second woman to sit on it, this jurist, who had made gender equality her battle for her, was hated by conservatives.
While Barack Obama’s presence in the White House secured his replacement by a similarly progressive figure, the infamous “RBG,” although he was over 80 years old at the time, he stuck to his seat. Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election forced her to extend her lease, despite recurring health concerns, causing legitimate concern within the Democratic camp.
Forty-five days before the presidential and Senate elections, his death actually allowed Donald Trump to turn the scales of the Supreme Court hard.
The Republican Party sweeps the Senate
For Donald Trump, the issue then lies in the Senate’s confirmation of this myriad shift from the Supreme Court to the conservative camp. At the time, the Senate, with a Republican majority, unsurprisingly supported the president’s project.
Even before he knows the name of the person who should succeed RPG, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shows his papers, saying: “President Trump’s nominee is entitled to one vote in the US Senate.”. With only three votes up front, the Republican majority remains fragile. Then Mitch McConnell bet on the pressures of the conservative base.
Donald Trump appoints pro-life judge Amy Connie Barrett ahead of presidential election
By refusing to wait for the results of the November 3, 2020 election to designate a successor to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the outgoing president is ignoring the position of the Republican Party that had accepted the principle of withdrawal prior to his term. It is up to the future administration to choose a judge who fits the electoral mood of the country. In a similar situation, the three predecessors of Donald Trump also refrained from acting before the election.
On September 26, 2020, Donald Trump proposed the name Amy Connie Barrett, a judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (the jurisdiction of the states of Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin), a “pro-life” Catholic who belongs to the charismatic movement, mother of seven.
Senate confirms conservative judge appointment
This appointment was confirmed by the Senate on October 26, cementing the conservative camp within the Supreme Court. Elected senators then voted almost strictly along partisan lines, with 52 in favour, 48 against. During this formal vote in plenary, a simple majority of 51 votes was sufficient. If two Republican senators expressed their opposition to this hasty process, one of them, Lisa Murkowski, nevertheless voted in favor of the judge.
“There is a clear and distinct strategy of parliamentary obstruction on the part of the Republicans.”Marie Cecil Navis, author, confirms Feminist democracy. Reinvent the Force (Calmann-Lévy, 2020), invokes the impotence of Democrats “In the face of the hostility of the far right, especially the religious”.
Long wallet tradition
This conservative shift, which has accelerated during Donald Trump’s tenure, is part of a long-term strategy of the Republican Party and the assembled traditional jurists within the federal community. “What is happening today is the result of the popular activism that began in the eighties by anti-abortion activists”confirms Marie Cecil Naves, describing “Activists are very influential and effective in defending their ideas: lobbying of elected officials, door-to-door communication, mobilization in communities, etc.”
“Donald Trump, like George W. Bush before him, made it possible to embody this fieldwork at the highest level of decision-making through appointments”analyzes the political scientist, and mentions it too“On the domestic level, there are a large number of states led by Republicans, sometimes extremists, whose battle against abortion is one of their obsessions.”
However, the three life-appointed justices, appointed by Donald Trump, who cling to the task assigned to them by their political patron, do not agree with the American public. The anti-choice project is the stark manifestation of this political polarization of American society, for which women and minorities are paying a heavy price. “The topic will undoubtedly be on the mid-term agenda. [élections de mi-mandat] in November and could spur Democratic voters.”warns Marie Cecil Naves.