Mitch never sleeps. He has a final purpose in life, and neither rain, snow, nor epidemic disease is going to stop him from ensuring his own political immortality through the federal courts. From The New York Times:
Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, who has used his position as majority leader to build a judicial confirmation juggernaut for President Trump over the past three years, has been personally reaching out to judges to sound them out on their plans and assure them that they would have a worthy successor if they gave up their seats soon, according to multiple people with knowledge of his actions…One of his Republican colleagues said others had also initiated outreach in an effort to heighten awareness among judges nominated by Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush and George W. Bush that making the change now would be advantageous.
He’s already made it clear that, if there’s a Supreme Court opening during this election year, he’ll fill it. (Someone pour out another one for Merrick Garland.) Now, he’s telling older Republicans to switch out so that younger Republicans can replace them. During the presidencies of Reagan and the senior Bush, judges who were not certified Grade-A prime Federalist Society wingnut would occasionally slip through. The young judges with whom McConnell proposes to replace them are almost guaranteed to be safely in the bag.
And, of course, this enables McConnell to set unpopular conservative policies in stone.
“Senator McConnell knows he can’t achieve any of his extreme goals legislatively, so he continues to attempt to pull America to the far right by packing the courts,” Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, said in a statement. He predicted that his counterpart’s emphasis on the courts “will significantly hurt Republican senators in November.”
“If Mitch McConnell is having direct conversations to pressure sitting federal judges to basically retire so Trump can name more picks, it is court-packing in a different form,” said Brian Fallon, the executive director of the progressive judicial group Demand Justice. “It raises the question of what, if anything, McConnell is offering them to take senior status earlier than planned. This type of hand-in-glove coordination shows how utterly politicized the judicial branch is.”
In a purely academic sense, you have to admire how they’ve done it. Because Democratic voters have been completely oblivious to the importance of the federal courts in casting their ballots, the Republicans had a clear field of which they could take advantage, and McConnell has done it so thoroughly that he will be an important figure in American politics for decades after he’s dead. I hereby apologize, in advance, to my eventual great-grandchildren.
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