The thought of Donald Trump being able to name yet another Supreme Court justice has created a wave of panic throughout the Democratic Party.
Liberal groups are already putting together a plan of attack to fight off any nomination Trump would put forward if Ruth Bader Ginsburg or another justice retires before the 2020 election, The Hill reports.
Ginsburg health concerns
Justice Ginsburg’s health has become a big problem for liberals concerned about the current direction of the Supreme Court. As it stands right now, conservatives hold a 5–4 edge on the court.
If Ginsburg were to retire or pass within the next year and Trump were to name her replacement, there would be a 6–3 edge for conservatives that would be hard to overcome for decades.
The likelihood of Ginsburg retiring seems to have been elevated in recent months as she has had yet another health scare. Last week, Ginsburg was rushed to a hospital with flu-like symptoms, then she was transferred to Johns Hopkins for IV antibiotics and fluids.
This is now the fourth health problem for Ginsburg this year; she had two procedures for cancer-related issues, broken ribs, and now, chills and a fever.
No lame duck for Trump
During the last year of Barack Obama’s second term, Justice Antonin Scalia died, allowing Obama to nominate another justice to the Supreme Court just before leaving office.
This was a huge opportunity for Democrats to flip the court, but it was thwarted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who refused to even consider Obama’s nomination because of his lame-duck status.
Liberals want that same consideration if Ginsburg retires or dies, since it is the last year of Trump’s presidency.
McConnell, however, is unlikely to even consider this for two reasons. First, the two parties are at war right now, so there is no chance he would give into anything Democrats want.
Second, the situation is different in that Trump is likely to be re-elected, so why delay the inevitable?
Some Democrats in the race are already on record saying they would back adding additional justices to the court to swing it back to a liberal ideology, so it is pretty obvious how important both the election and the next SCOTUS nomination is going to be.