The Goose and the Gander

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, feminist pioneer and progressive icon, dies at  87 - SCOTUSblog

Just when one thought this election fall could not get more bizarre, legendary Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg succumbed (after a heroic fight) to her pancreatic cancer. While Justice Ginsburg will be honored for days, neither party wasted any time spinning their views about who should be nominating the next Supreme Court Justice, and when that nomination should happen.

There is absolutely no point arguing why the Republicans or Democrats are hypocrites. They all are; full stop.

In 2016, when the GOP thought its only hope of nominating a Conservative justice to the bench was an extremely unlikely Donald Trump victory, Mitch McConnell refused to bring Judge Garland’s nomination to the Senate floor for a vote. Every leading democrat repudiated Senator McConnell’s tactics and insisted that he do his job as Majority Leader by giving President Obama’s nominee his day in court (so to speak).

I am not going to do your homework for you, but I will give you the answer. To be clear, when I say that every leading democrat opined that the Senate should do its job and give Mr. Garland his hearing, I am not exaggerating. Chuck Schumer, Joe Biden, and President Obama were adamant. Even Justice Ginsburg said “There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the president stops being President in his last year.”

Ahhh, but is what is good for the goose good for the gander? Well, if you ask Chuck Schumer, Joe Biden, and Barack Obama today, they would clearly say “of course not!” And if one is to believe Justice Ginsburg’s granddaughter when she says her grandmother’s last wish was that her replacement be picked by the next President, then even the Justice apparently saw goose and gander as distinctly different. The irony of Judge Ginsburg’s alleged last wish is that even if the next President were to choose her replacement, it does not mean the choice wouldn’t be made by President Trump. So seen through that lens, her “hail mary” is not all that different from Mitch McConnell’s in 2016.

The bottom line is that it’s all about politics; it has ever been thus. Do you actually think for a second that if the roles were reversed Chuck Schumer would wait until after the election? Good Lord, please tell me you aren’t going to die on that hill!

Before you protest, let’s remember the Democrats are the party threatening to end the filibuster and expand the the number of seats on the Supreme Court if they win the majority. There is no high ground here. This is spit-balling, hard-nosed politics.

It is arguable that the longest lasting legacy from the Trump years will be in the judges appointed to the District, Circuit, and Supreme Courts. Politics have always been crude, cruel, and ugly. Yes, the civility those of us long in the tooth remember has left the building. We seem to be at the nadir. But truly, it is a complete waste of time to argue the morality of either party. It will be what it will be; there is too much at stake.

I would say what’s good for the goose is good for the gander for both parties. Live by the sword, die by the sword. Time will tell who holds the sword in November.

More to Follow


  1. John J. Patton says

    Today’s WSJ has a lead editorial on which party has been more cynical about this issue. The Dems win in a walk.


  2. Barry Smith says

    The constitution as I understand it, says the President Hassan obligation tonominarwya namefor consideration. That doesn’t mean a confirmation which is unlikely due to Collins, Romney and M McKaskle so why should Dems. care. I don’t think there’s 50 votes to confirm anyone Unfortunately the country today is not the it once was. When Clinton nominated Ginsberg, she was confirmed in less time than is now available. Like I swspect most of the country, I am really tired of all this.

    • says

      Yep. There is a lot of fatigue, but hopefully that fatigue does not translate into voter apathy. Regarding the vote, I think it is quite possible that we have a 50-50 tie and the Veep will come in to break the tie.

  3. charles gordon says

    Jim—–You nailed the situation again. How could it get any worse….fisticuffs and leg wrestling on the senate floor?

  4. Ralph Mucerino says

    Jim, as usual you are spot on. Politics has become a vicious blend of lying, immorality and a lack of empathy for the citizens who have to endure the endless histrionics. Bipartisanship is dead and divisiveness is the word of the day. The meaning of the sacrifice and hope embodied in our flag is lost on the anarchists who want to destroy our society. Perseverance in our beliefs mix d with a lot of prayer can help get us through the nightmare.

  5. Gregg DeSilvio says

    I agree with all that you’ve stated. I am very intrigued about how the nominee will be “borked” this time.

  6. uncle roger says

    There is NO Goose
    There is NO Gander
    There is no Sword

    If you LOVE our beloved country and if you put country first and if you are a true Republican then you want president Trump to nominate somebody (hopefully Amy Coney Barrett) and get her confirmed before the election.

    First & foremost we need full bench, all nine justices, in the event election end up going to courts.

    I respected and loved the Bush family, but all Bushes lost my respect when Daddy Bush voted for Hillary and Baby Bush said he did not vote. I understand their anger, as Trump beat the crap of their son and brother, but if they are conservatives as they say/said they are/were, and if they had put country first then they should have voted for Trump. Why? Because they know better than anybody else the kind of justices Trump would put on the SCOTUS and kind of justices Clinton would have put on the SCOTUS. They put their feelings before the country – what a SHAME!!!!!!!!! Now I understand Bushes are Globalists and don’t give a rat’s ass what happens to our wonderful/beloved USA.

    So, President Trump MUST appoint and Republicans Senators with balls (and love for the country) MUST approve her nomination BEFORE the election.
    uncle roger

  7. Jay Courage says

    Enjoy your posts as always. Can Congress expand SCOTUS just by legislative majority? What about adding DC and PR as states? Thought the former would require an amendment. Best

  8. Russell Corser says

    One of the main reasons Trump was elected was to put Conservatives on the courts, including the Supreme Court. Thank God he is doing what he said that he would do. So unusual in politics. Go Trump!

  9. Laurie van Wagenberg says

    Since precedence was set in 2016 eight months before an election, then it should be honored. We need to establish a law that says when a president can appoint a justice during an election year – or not. Let’s make a fair decision now for ALL presidents so we don’t have these stupid , divisive arguments again. But keep in mind, in all fairness, precedence has already been established and should be honored. If we go ahead now, with nominating and approving a new justice then the same should happen in reverse. – assuming we believe in a just and fair society? Isn’t it time to start acting like the Americans the world used to envy?

    • says

      HI Laurie…that is rational, but won’t happen. And yes, the next time, should the situation be reversed, it will happen again. Ergo my point that if we had a Dem President now, and a Dem majority in the Senate, Mr. Schumer would be steamrolling his candidate through the Senate as I type!

  10. Douglas Holmes says

    Bottom line: Trump/Pence must, and I predict will, win HUGE victory with strong “coat-tails” so no argument that the Country is a center-right leaning political environment. The riots and killing and raping occurring in the “terror zones” in Seattle and Portland represent the modern Democratic Party and the Citizens of our Fair Country will not stand for this Marxist revolution. Thus the argument about nominating a replacement for the hard core liberal Marxist Justice Ginsburg will not be an issue. The other good news is that President Trump should get at least 2 more bites of the Supreme Court apple. Equally important he will nominate more Federal Judges than any President in history by the end of his term in January 2025.

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