How should Biden and the Democrats respond to the Barrett nomination?

President Donald Trump has reportedly decided to nominate Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

How should Joe Biden and the Democrats react?

Barrett appears to be a highly qualified jurist, but one with right-wing ideological views. Should the Democrats engage in an all-out battle to block her confirmation?

On Bartlett, see,

1) O. Carter Snead, “I’ve known Amy Coney Barrett for 15 years. Liberals have nothing to fear,” Opinion, Washington Post, September 26, 2020 (10:00 a.m. EDT).

2) Adam Liptak “Barrett’s Record: A Conservative Who Would Push the Supreme Court to the Right; As an appeals court judge, Judge Barrett has issued opinions that have reflected those of her mentor, Justice Antonin Scalia, but with few of his occasional liberal rulings,” New York Times, September 26, 2020
(Updated 1:26 p.m. ET).

If nothing else was going on, the answer would probably be “Yes”.

But there is something else going on: the presidential and general elections on November 3, 2020.

This is a presidential election which could decide the future of American democracy.

With President Donald Trump, a would-be authoritarian leader,  revealing every day that he intends to cling to power at any cost, regardless of the outcome of the election, the stakes could not be higher.

Trump is a lawless president, totally out of control, who appears to be in the middle of a creeping and ongoing coup d’état.

The Republicans control the Senate and have the votes to jam the Barrett confirmation through.

So what should the Democrats do?

The answer is blazingly clear.  They should not take the bait, not be distracted, and should simply not engage in the battle.

Instead, they should continue to focus their energies on winning the presidential election by a large margin, and overcoming all of the obstacles Trump may throw in their way so as to guarantee a successful transition of power to a Joe Biden presidency on January 20, 2021.

In short, they should focus on winning not this battle, but rather the war.

If Trump engages in any wild behavior, once the newly elected House and Senate members take office on January 3, 2021, the House should immediately approve articles of impeachment, and the new Democratically-controlled Senate should very quickly thereafter commence the impeachment trial to remove Trump from office.

In a word, Democrats should avoid a battle over Barrett’s confirmation which they can’t win, and focus instead on winning the elections by stressing their major themes:

These include:

1. Health care;

2. Covid-19 crisis management, 200,000 dead, and 400,000 deaths by January, 2021;

3. Economic support for working families and unemployed during the pandemic;

4. Russian influence over Donald Trump and his administration;

5. Science and climate change;

6. Abuse of power, and obstruction of justice; and

7. Decency and family values.

This is no time to get intellectual or complicated.  They should keep it simple, and pound home their messages on these issues, both on the rational-analytical level and, more importantly, on the emotional level.  Currently, the Presidential contest is being fought at the level of mass emotions.

Let us all keep our ‘Eyes on the Prize”.

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

The Observer
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by The Observer, an international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. He is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (IACHR), where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, The Observer has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. The Observer speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, The Observer has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on the best articles that have appeared in the blog.

1 Comment on "How should Biden and the Democrats respond to the Barrett nomination?"

  1. Right on right on right on brother observer! Keep those articles coming. Get them out to as many papers as possible.

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