The nomination of the Catholic Amy Coney Barrett for the vacant seat in the Supreme Court divides the minds and heats the culture war on the election campaign home straight. US President Trump is seizing the opportunity to win the conservative majority in the US Supreme Court – and wants to put the federal judge in office before the presidential election on November 3rd. The Democrats, unlikely to be able to prevent Barrett’s appointment, now want to mobilize voters. They immediately raised the alarm that their views could change the country for years to come.
Indeed, Trump’s decision could have more impact on the US than the November presidential election.
Some describe Barrett as the female reincarnation of the illustrious constitutional judge Anthony Scalia, for whom the federal judge at Chicago District Court worked as a young lawyer. Others see the mother of seven as the counterpart to the recently deceased feminist Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is to replace her at the Supreme Court. For Donald Trump, who nominated the 48-year-old on Saturday, the law professor at the elite Catholic University of Notre Dame is one thing above all else: a political sword that should secure his re-election. In addition, he sets the course for a conservative majority in the Supreme Court for years.
Supreme Court justices are appointed for life
A president is in office for a maximum of eight years and has to repeatedly agree on laws with Congress. The Supreme Court justices, on the other hand, are appointed for life and no longer have to hold anyone accountable. In addition, the US Supreme Court often has the last word on essential issues of principle on issues such as abortion, immigration, gun law and discrimination. It is considered likely that American Conservatives could now start a new attempt to overturn or at least limit the right to abortion and same-sex marriage in court.
Also read: Should be US constitutional judge – legal campaigner for “the kingdom of God”: This is Trump’s candidate for a judge, Barrett
Barrett is to replace the liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last week of complications from cancer. With the 48-year-old, the conservative judges would have a clear majority of six of the nine seats on the Supreme Court. According to “CNN” judicial expert Joan Biskupic, that would also mean that it will be much more difficult to find a balance between the two sides. In the past, liberal quartets often managed to win the decisive fifth vote from the conservative camp, but the new 6: 3 division could prevent this in the future.
Is Trump possibly harming Barrett’s turbo election?
But Trump’s offensive to force Barrett through before the election could also backfire: According to a recent poll by the Washington Post, almost six out of ten Americans (57 percent) are of the opinion that it was not the incumbent, but the election winner on May 3 November was to nominate the successor to the late justice icon Ginsburg. Only 38 percent think it is right to occupy the empty judgment seat so shortly before the elections for life.
Whether Barrett’s nomination helps Trump more with voters on the Christian right than it harms him with many women, the question remains. Especially since the president does not want to make their confirmation dependent on the result on November 3rd, but wants to appoint them beforehand in record time. Their hearing before the judicial committee is due to begin on October 12. And thanks to the Republican majority in the Senate, nothing should stand in the way of Barrett’s appointment to the Supreme Court.
“It looks like a new legal era is beginning”
In any case, Barrett’s nomination triggers the hope of overturning the fundamental judgment of “Roe v. Wade” among conservatives. In 1973, the court declared abortion a private matter. Liberal Americans, on the other hand, fear that in addition to unpunished access to abortions, healthcare reform is also in question
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden does not focus on abortion, but on Barrett’s stance on the controversial health care reform “Obamacare”, which is back on the Supreme Court calendar a week after the elections. Because of her public criticism of health insurance for everyone, Biden fears that with her vote the abolition of “Obamacare” will succeed in the third attempt.
“It looks like a new legal era is beginning,” said Katherine Bartlett, former dean of Duke University School of Law. She suspects that decisions on women’s rights and same-sex marriage will be preserved, but she expects changes “in the areas of voting rights and discrimination as well as firearms regulation”.
How will John Roberts, Chief Justice, react?
How far the US Supreme Court will actually move into the right wing will also depend on the voice and direction of John Roberts, Chief Justice of the United States. Until Ginsburg’s death, he took on the role of the conservative middle man, who often moved closer to the left so that moderate decisions could be made.
Judicial expert Biskupic warns against underestimating his influence, because in the past Roberts has repeatedly insisted on the neutrality and integrity of the Supreme Court, for which he put his own conservative instincts aside.