The decision by Senate Republicans to force through the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was blasted in a new USA TODAY editorial posted online on Saturday night.
"To the surprise of virtually no one, President Donald Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Saturday to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg," the editorial board wrote.
"It is particularly egregious that an institution once known as the world's greatest deliberative body would attempt to rush through a Supreme Court nomination, even as it has been unable to pass another relief bill for the millions of Americans suffering because of the coronavirus pandemic," the newspaper charged.
The editorial board has questions.
"First among the questions: Is it wise to pursue a heated confirmation fight just 38 days from an election? This is the closest nomination ever made to a U.S. presidential election. The prior record was Aug. 16, 1852, and the Senate did not act on that nomination," the newspaper noted.
"Another question is whether it is possible to do the necessary due diligence on any candidate for the high court, one who could serve for decades, at the breakneck speed proposed by Senate Republicans, who are said to be eyeing a late-October confirmation vote," USA TODAY explained. "Most important, is it fair for Republicans to hold open a vacancy for the better part of a year in 2016, when a Democrat was president — citing the pending presidential election as a rationale — and then do a 180-degree turn when a Republican makes a nomination?"
"The answer to all of these questions — whether it is wise to have a confirmation battle in the home stretch of a critical presidential election, whether there is enough time before the election to give the choice sufficient scrutiny, and whether Republicans in charge of the Senate have any high ground to stand on — is no," the newspaper concluded.
"The American people ought to be able to look at their courts as autonomous arbiters of justice, not an extension of one party’s political apparatus. They ought to be able to see the system for filling vacancies as at least fair. Attempting to ram through the nomination of Judge Barrett, after refusing to even consider an eminently qualified pick made by then-President Barack Obama, is a good way to undermine America’s faith in its courts," the editorial concluded.
.@usatoday editorial: It is particularly egregious that the Senate would try to rush through a Supreme Court nomina… https://t.co/N5UTPLSARD— Jill Lawrence (@Jill Lawrence)1601173219.0