Match Point At Center Court

By

Leonard Zwelling

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/27/opinion/anthony-kennedy-retirement-supreme-court.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region

Now the trouble really begins.

Due to the suspension of the filibuster rule in the U.S. Senate at the time of the Gorsuch nomination to the Supreme Court, there is absolutely nothing that the Democrats can do to stop Donald Trump from nominating an ultraconservative justice to replace Anthony Kennedy who has announced his retirement to take effect on July 31. For all of those who thought it couldn’t get any worse—it can and likely will. Unless Republicans like Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, Jeff Flake or Bob Corker join with all the Senate Democrats, Trump’s next appointee, no matter who he or she is, will be confirmed, even it is by the 50-49 margin the GOP holds in the Senate now with Senator McCain ill in Arizona.

At stake are the right to an abortion, the right to gay marriage, affirmative action in public universities and, perhaps, most critically, the question of whether or not the President of the United States is beyond the reach of the law.

It does not take a seer to see that the questions of whether or not the president can be subpoenaed, whether or not he can be prosecuted, and whether or not he can undermine the special counsel may all come to a vote before a Supreme Court whose ninth member will probably assume the bench before the year is out. We live in dangerous times.

It was always the case that the Supreme Court’s make-up was at stake during the 2016 election. That Hillary Clinton mounted such a weak campaign and was a seriously flawed candidate now puts a host of assumed rights in jeopardy in the United States.

As The New York Times Editorial Board states the only solution is to get out and vote in 2018 and then hope that a new Congress will use its legislative power to reverse any affronts to basic liberties imposed on America by the most right-leaning Court in decades.

This is far more important than whether or not someone has to bake a cake for a gay wedding. I am not sure I know where I stand on telling individuals what they have to do. That gerrymandering still is the law of the land is far more concerning to me than many of the other issues the Court has ruled on, but remember Kennedy was on the wrong side of Citizens United and is clearly a conservative who just happens to believe in protecting the rights of individuals—like any real conservative should.

Mitch McConnell is grinning now. He has his way and will have gone down in history as the Senate Majority Leader who upended the natural order of things to get Supreme Court justices in place as vacancies occur and requiring at least 60 Senate votes to do so.

It is a precarious time in America. For those of you who voted for Donald Trump, please open your eyes and see what is occurring at the southern border, in Europe, with our trade policy and now with our civil rights. I hope those of you who voted for him are happy. The rest of us aren’t. Our worst fears have been realized. Actually, not yet. Justices Ginsberg and Breyer are not young. It could get even worse—soon

Leonard Zwelling