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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 10/2/20

What You Need to Know About the GOP Takeover of the Supreme Court

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From Robert Reich Blog

Led by Mitch McConnell, Republicans are gearing up to reverse the precedent they themselves set in 2016, when they blocked President Obama's Supreme Court nominee for 293 days because, they said, "this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president."

They know if they let the people decide who should appoint the next Supreme Court justice, their last chance to implement minority rule could be lost.

What do I mean by minority rule?

Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million people.

And he was impeached.

If confirmed, his nominee would be approved by Senate Republicans representing 11 million fewer Americans than their Senate Democratic counterparts.

Two of those Senate Republicans - Kelly Loeffler of Georgia and Martha McSally of Arizona - weren't even elected; they were appointed by their respective governors, meaning they will get to confirm a Supreme Court justice to a lifetime appointment without ever winning their elections.

That justice would join a Supreme Court alongside four conservative justices who were nominated by Republican presidents who also lost the popular vote.

These 5 would have the power to negate laws supported by a majority of Americans. They would have the power to interpret the U.S. Constitution.

They'd even have the power to determine the outcome of the presidential election - a not-so-far-fetched possibility, given that Trump has refused to say whether he'll accept the results if he loses, and has a multimillion-dollar war chest to mount legal challenges. He's even said his motivation for ramming through a new justice is to serve as a tiebreaker in determining who wins the presidency.

In other words, a president elected by a minority will appoint a justice who will be confirmed by senators representing a minority. That justice will have the power to subvert the will of the majority and possibly hand the election to a president who's already been impeached.

Most Americans -- including half of Republicans -- believe Justice Ginsburg's vacancy should be filled by whomever wins the presidency weeks from now.

The GOP's attempt to hold onto power at all costs jeopardizes the foundations of our democracy and threatens the sanctity of the Supreme Court, whose power and influence depend on Americans' trust in its non-partisan judgment.

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Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.

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