Iconic Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died, handing Trump and the Republican-controlled Senate the opportunity to replace her. This has huge implications, chief among them that her Democrat ballot voting for Joe Biden will now have to be cast by mail.
And like everything in Washington, the nomination process is contentious. Starting with a closely watched Supreme Court vote this week, the justices decided 5-3 to buy flowers for her funeral. Chief Justice Roberts crafted the majority note on the accompanying card, and Associate Justice Samuel Alito crafted the dissenting opinion.
The Democrats are hypocrites, saying Trump should not appoint another Supreme Court justice. But two things differ: Trump is not a lame-duck president like Obama was, and the Republicans control the Senate. Dems lost the moral high ground when they tried to ruin Justice Brett Kavanaugh's life over a lie.
You know Dems such as Adam Schiff will play sinister politics, like impeaching Trump over manufactured allegations. They will probably shop around and get a ruling from California's 9th Circus Court of Appeals that Ginsburg doesn't have to step down from the court even if she is dead, citing Weekend at Bernie's v. Trump.
Trump now gets to appoint his third Supreme Court justice. All the people on his "short list" are women. Trump will fashion his own brand of decision making: This may be the only Supreme Court vetting contest that has a swimsuit category.
There are few moderates on the court anymore. If there is moderation, it is by Republican appointees who tend to vote with the left at times. The Democrat appointees, like most Democrats, do not think issues through. They vote as they are told and in lockstep. USA Today reported that in 66 cases before the Supreme Court, the four Democrat-appointed justices voted the same way 55 times (83% of the time), compared to the five Republican appointees who voted together just 39 times, or 59% of the time. Think of Chief Justice Roberts, whose vote upheld important parts of Obamacare.
As a libertarian, I thought Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy struck the right tone. He ruled in favor of same-sex marriage. He said it was not the Supreme Court's role to judge gay men; that, of course, is the purview of the Tony Awards Committee. The Supremes rightfully decided that marriage is a states' rights issue and not traditionally defined as the union of two people of the opposite sex trapped in a resentful cage fight.
Joe Biden's response to RBG's passing was as expected. He said he hated to see Babe Ruth go.
What would Biden do under these circumstances? He would read whatever his handlers put on his teleprompter and appoint a liberal judge, a woman of color, to the Supreme Court. Knowing Joe and his criteria, leading his list would likely be Diana Ross.
There will be important decisions before the Supremes, including cases about the mail-in ballot fraud that will happen Nov. 3. And if the Stormy Daniels appeal goes further, she could even represent herself before the Supreme Court. That would be comfortable for her. No woman has more experience being around old men in robes than Stormy.
Other likely decisions before the Supreme Court will be hot-button issues such as abortion and the death penalty. If the Supremes cannot decide on the death penalty, they could effectuate it by releasing murderers from the South Side of Chicago. I was asked once if I was for the electric chair. I surprised the host and said, "No; I think we have waited too long. So many are on death row now that I am for electric bleachers until we can catch up."
Contact Ron Hart, a syndicated op-ed satirist, author and TV commentator, at Ron@RonaldHart.com or on Twitter @RonaldHart.