The Democratic Party leaders may have a more practical reason for the way they are managing the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump.

Presidents have term limits, while federal judges get lifetime appointments.

Can a president who has been impeached by the House and awaiting trial in the Senate appoint a new justice to the Supreme Court? Legally, I believe the president can and the Senate can take up the nominee.

But can a president in that situation, the very situation President Trump is in at this moment, succeeded politically? The politics of getting a nominee through the Senate confirmation is all that really matters.

Democrats may be using the impeachment process to create a hostile political environment to prevent President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from filling any vacancy on the Supreme Court.

There are two justices over the age of 80, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Stephen Breyer. Both of those elderly judges were appointed by Democrats and are consistent members of the liberal wing of the current court. One or both could leave the court suddenly before the end of the first term of President Trump.

There is also the possibility of Justice Clarence Thomas deciding to retire. His retirement would allow a younger conservative to be appointed by President Trump.

The left wing of the Democratic Party has failed to stop President Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell twice at the Supreme Court appointment level. They have even failed at keeping Senate Democrats from voting for Trump's appointees. They are desperately in need of a new tool to derail the next candidate for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.

The delay by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate might be an attempt to create that new tool for the left.

It is a better strategy than the Democrats have had so far to halt the appointments of Supreme Court Justices, but I doubt it is enough to break the spirit of the conservatives who understand the importance of the federal courts, and this unique moment in history to place qualified Constitutionalists on the bench. But what about the spirit of some GOP Senators?

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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