As we approach the November presidential election the storm clouds are gathering over what will be, in my opinion, the most contentious battle over the appointment of the ninth associate justice of the United States Supreme Court.

The liberal left seems desperate to prevent the appointment of a conservative judge who is a strict constitutionalist. They’ve even threatened to attempt to add two new states to the Union, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, in order to tip the balance of legislative power in the Senate by electing four more liberal senators, they presume, which would give Democrats a 54 to 53 majority! The process of admitting new states to the Union isn’t as quick or easy as some might think; it certainly couldn’t be done before the upcoming election. The other tactic is increasing the number of Supreme Court justices inclined to interpret the law rather than follow the principles set forth in the Constitution.

Frankly, I don’t think either tactic could possibly work in time to affect the appointment and confirmation of a new associate justice to fill the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the high court. After all, what this all comes down to is nothing more than politics and timing! Republicans would like to get a conservative judge confirmed by the Senate before the November election in case President Trump should lose to Joe Biden. While, on the other hand, Democrats want to delay any appointment until after the election and swearing in of the president in case Joe Biden wins. So, it all boils down to who’s elected or re-elected to the highest office in the land. And if the shoe were on the other foot, the positions of the two political parties would be exactly the opposite – Republicans would be for delaying the appointment of a new justice and Democrats would want to get the appointment done before November 3rd. The Democrats are pinning all their hopes on a Biden victory which, at least to me, doesn’t seem like a sure thing at all.

What we’re left with is politics as usual! And, again, whoever is elected president this November will make all the difference. The confirmation of the next justice of the Supreme Court won’t be about who’s best suited for the job, but the political philosophy of the appointee – liberal or conservative.

If the upcoming election is fair and honest, I don’t think there’s much doubt about the re-election of Donald Trump, and that’s despite what the polls suggest! There are so many variables in the collection of statistics that it’s possible to make a poll come out any way the pollsters want it to come out. My impression is that there are far more supporters of President Trump than any “poll” suggests. The great mass of people between California and the East Coast, with the exception of Illinois and maybe Wisconsin, tend to be conservative and as far as I know not much polling has been going on in the rest of the states in between the two coasts.

The central issue at the moment, however, still remains the appointment of the next associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. That decision now overshadows ever other issue facing this country. The unexpected passing of Justice Ginsburg has completely changed the political landscape. Whoever is appointed and confirmed will determine the direction of the country for years to come. A liberal justice could push the country toward the radical left. A conservative justice could push the country toward the right end of the political spectrum.

What’s also going to be very interesting are the upcoming presidential debates! Joe Biden says very little that isn’t scripted and the media tends to ask him such soft ball questions that a kid studying high school government could answer them! We’ll see how he does without a teleprompter or advance knowledge of what the questions will be. It’s even been suggested that he might try wearing an earpiece with responses being given to him as questions are asked, although that sounds a bit absurd to me. How well he can think on his feet will, nevertheless, be very important – more important, in fact, than most people seem to realize.

If, for example, Chris Wallace were to ask Biden to name his favorite color and then ask Trump to explain his rationale for selecting his nominee to the high court we might have reason to suspect a one-sided debate! I don’t think that’s going to happen, however.

The outcome of the selection process for a new associate justice will likely push one group or the other into the streets to protest the choice – a least until it gets cold outside. Or until the American people finally elect Republican mayors and governors willing to finally put an end to the civil unrest that has been increasingly dangerous and destructive in a handful of cities across the country. I look for some sort of protest, peaceful or otherwise, no matter who is nominated to the high court. And the Democrats will be all over whoever the president selects. They will they dig into her background going all the way back to kindergarten!

It isn’t all that often that a president gets to nominate a judge to a more important post than the tie-breaking ninth associate justice. Just think of it, one vote either way can change the course of this country’s history; that’s why it’s so important.

That’s —30— for this week.

Paul W. Barada is a retired Rush County businessman. He may be contacted via this publication at news@greensburgdailynews.com.

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