After the recent death of liberal champion, Supreme Court chief justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the federal bench now has a vacancy just forty-two days before Election Day. In recent history, nominations for the Supreme Court required a confirmation hearing of at least two-to-three months.
Can President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, with its majority in the U.S. Senate, nominate and confirm a Supreme Court chief justice before November 3?
That would be a historic feat as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the country, surpassing 200,000 deaths, along with wildfires, and “anarchist” cities in Portland, Seattle, and New York.
Could this be one of the most significant bargaining chips in Trump’s bizarro reelection campaign? Let’s find out…
Potential Trump Supreme Court Nominees
Don’t expect anybody to know all that much about Trump’s potential Supreme Court nominees—not even him.
What matters most is how they will vote on hot-button issues for conservatives, such as abortion, workers’ and voting rights, LGBTQ rights, health care, and more.
Perhaps the most critical aspect of gaining a third Supreme Court nominee during Trump’s first term is the power instilled in the Republican Party even though they don’t need to win the popular vote.
A third Supreme Court pick resides in the potential nominees of Amy Coney Barrett, Barbara Lagoa, and Allison Jones Rushing. There’s also Bridget Bade and Amul Thapar.
Each of these is a Circuit Judge, many of whom had already been nominated by the President. What do the oddsmakers have to say about Trump’s top two picks for the Supreme Court?
Trump’s Top 2 Picks for the Supreme Court
|Amy Coney Barrett||+150||-250|
Amy Coney Barrett is the favorite among Trump’s top two picks for the Supreme Court’s vacancy. She’s getting +150 odds at MyBookie. (Wow! What a return.)
At BetOnline, the odds are starkly different, although Barett is still the clear favorite at -250.
Who the hell are these people?
Who Is Amy Coney Barrett?
According to Fox News, Barrett is a 48-year old judge with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago. She’s reportedly a pro-life conservative akin to former Supreme Court chief justice Anton Scalia. She nearly replaced former Justice Anthony Kennedy, in 2018, but Trump chose Brett Kavanaugh instead.
She went through a confirmation process back in 2017, when Trump nominated her for the U.S. Court of Appeals. Her Catholic faith was then questioned by high-ranking Democrats in the Senate who worried it might get in the way of her judicial duties.
So, Barrett has recent experience in Senate confirmation proceedings. (That’s Trump’s M.O. What have you done for me lately?) She’s a Notre Dame graduate, a Southern, Catholic woman whose name is well-known among Trump’s political circle.
She’d won her previous confirmation hearing by a vote of 55-43.
That’s big. Very big.
What About Judge Barbara Lagoa?
Judge Barbara Lagoa, 52, is number two on Trump’s shortlist. She’s a federal judge based in Miami. It’s probably true that all Trump really knows about her is that she’s a Cuban woman.
“I’ve heard she’s outstanding. I don’t know her. She’s Hispanic. Florida. We love Florida.” (This quote is almost verbatim.)
According to the National Review, Lagoa is a “distant” favorite. It doesn’t seem like the President has gone out of his way since Ginsberg’s death to personally meet with anybody other than the frontrunner, Barrett. (Lagoa earned her spot on a federal bench by a previous vote of 80-15.)
So, Lagoa could just be a political bargaining chip in a state and demographic that the Republicans may need to garner voter support in the Sunshine State.
However, she previously received 27 votes from Democrats, during a Senate confirmation last year to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. So to Trump, that’s probably—bad. And some of her judicial rulings seemed to have irked hard-line conservatives just as much as corporate liberals.
So confirming her could be a shaky process, when absolutely smooth sailing will be paramount to the Republican Takeover of America.
Other Supreme Court Nominees
If you’ve been paying attention to Trump’s first term, even mildly, you’d probably know by now that he’s not too keen on third, fourth, or fifth place. That’s been his political slogan, since day one.
This can be easily translated into the gambling world.
The other Supreme Court nominees are barely worth mentioning, only because it’s evident by now that the forerunner in Trump’s world is everything. Even the media has begun to follow suit, in addition to Google rankings.
If you search for the lower-ranked Supreme Court nominees, you’ll be able to see that their names aren’t exactly all over the place. Like Trump, Barrett, and—maybe—Lagoa.
For argument’s sake, here are the other names on Trump’s short list.
Judges Allison Jones Rushing, Bridget Bade, and Amul Thapar
Judge Allison Jones Rushing, 38, serves on the Fourth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. According to Fox News, she’d been confirmed by a vote of 53-44.
That vote count is precisely what Republicans will be looking to avoid these next few months. (Those two or three votes outside of a majority of 51 will be crucial.)
Bridge Bade, 54, is another Appeals Court Judge, based out of Arizona. She was confirmed by a vote of 78-21. She has +600 odds at MyBookie. Arizona PBS reports her as having a “low profile”. (No good.)
Then, there’s Ohio-based, Sixth Circuit Appeals Court Judge Amul Thapar, 51.
Let’s get a breakdown.
Breakdown for Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee
It’s obvious that Amy Coney Barrett is Trump’s favorite as a nominee for the Supreme Court. There are other contenders based on their qualifications and universal appeal among Republicans and Democrats.
However, it just seems like Barrett is the favorite based on her previous meetings with Trump and his ilk when she’d been considered as a Supreme Court chief justice. Trump told the media, then, that she’d be Ginsberg’s replacement.
So, the odds of her being the nominee at +150 are incredibly favorable. Especially considering she’s ranked at -250, elsewhere.
Barrett is my pick, solely based on the fact that she is well-known among conservatives. And since Trump doesn’t seem to know the rest of the other judges that well—politically, socially, or otherwise— it makes sense that he’ll go with whom he feels most comfortable.
Thus it sets the stage for a potential confirmation hearing, before or after Election Day 2020.
When Will the U.S. Senate Confirm the Next SCOTUS Nominee?
This is probably a more contentious issue than whom the nominee will be: When will the Senate confirm the next chief justice for the Supreme Court of the U.S.?
|BET AT||BY NOVEMBER 3||AFTER ELECTION|
Betting markets have -300 that the Senate will confirm a new chief justice by November 3, and +200 that it won’t happen.
In the reverse, there are -300 odds for a ‘No’, that the SCOTUS nominee won’t be confirmed until after the election. And +200 that the confirmation will happen after November 3.
This is where things get a little hazy.
Politics at Play With the SCOTUS Nominee?
There’s a lot of political meandering and obfuscation to be sorted out here in a short time. Trump has vowed to choose his nominee by Friday or Saturday, once Ginsberg’s memorial services are finished. After that, there are words like “filibuster” and “cloture” to consider.
And there’s just no time for all that political nonsense.
This could be one of the greatest political feats of Trump’s presidency. And so far, he has vitally failed the American public in his response to the coronavirus. It won’t be long before a quarter of a million Americans have lost their lives.
To be sure, that has become somewhat of a backstory in the wake of Ginsberg’s death.
While Republican Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, and Senator Lindsey Graham backtrack on their positions and comments, from 2016, about how their party wouldn’t allow a chief justice to be confirmed during former President Barack Obama’s final term in office. Or that a potential nominee wouldn’t be confirmed until after Trump’s first term—the gloves are off.
It will be no holds barred, from here until 2021.
When Will the SCOTUS Nominee Be Confirmed?
It’s highly unfathomable that Trump and his coterie could possibly confirm a SCOTUS justice before election day. It has taken them and the rest of Congress more than six months to deliver on a second coronavirus economic relief package for the country.
And that plan continues to fart and fizzle.
It’s just not enough, and it will take one hell of an effort for a Republican majority in the Senate to get past the Democrats before election day. Since the death of Ginsberg, Democrats have raised $100 million in support of their party’s cause—whatever that might be.
The only political sloganeering that remains of the Democratic Party is to defeat Trump. And the SCOTUS confirmation process is the ultimate political showdown.
With times like these, I’m “taking the points”or the underdog moneylines. It’s a bad economy, after all.
I just don’t see the President getting his way on this one. There are just too many political roadblocks in the way—plus he’ll have to participate in three debates—before then.
And with what’s being predicated and anticipated for Election Day 2020, this seems like the likeliest of results to me.
The country remains divided, much like the Senate on this one. I see that being the way 2021 comes to a vicious, and final, end.