Fully Operational SCOTUS Is Needed Before Nov 3 [OPINION]
Before I make my position known in detail, I'd like to quickly pay my respects to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away yesterday at 87. While I did not agree with her often, I found her to be a rational, brilliant, and formidable political force in Washington. Her story is remarkable.
With mail-in ballots raising concerns, recent close elections, and disputed results in recent history, this is not the time to not have a tie-breaking vote in the Supreme Court of the United States.
America needs a fully functioning and operational Supreme Court. President Donald Trump must fill the vacancy created by the passing of Justice Ginsburg.
The Democrats are pointing to 2016 when the Republicans withheld an Obama nomination for 10 months, saying that the next president should get to make the call. Mitch McConnell was quoted to say that "the people deserve to be heard."
McConnell also pointed out the differences in the scenario in 2016 and today.
In 2016, the White House was controlled by the Democrats, and the Senate was controlled by the Republican Party.
Today, Republicans control both. The people of the United States put them there. It is no one's fault that Justice Ginsburg died – not Trump's, not anyone's.
Ginsburg's dying wish was that President Trump not make a nomination for the Supreme Court until after the next presidential term begins in late January, meaning whoever the next president was, either Joe Biden or Trump.
But Ginsburg's political will is not a factor here.
The nation is very possibly going to face a scenario where the Supreme Court will be called upon to remedy the issue.
What if the mail-in ballots can't be counted in time and a constitutional crisis arises? We cannot go into the most contentious election since Lincoln-Douglas and have a less than fully functioning SCOTUS. Indeed, the last thing to de-escalate tensions in America would be a 4-4 tie vote in the highest court in the land.
Make your selection, Mr. President. Let all of our votes be heard through our representatives in the U.S. Senate. That is what the Constitution calls for.
Ken Pittman is the host of The Ken Pittman Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.