Power Line

Is It Really About the Supreme Court?

Why are the Democrats pursuing their futile impeachment charade? Obviously, it is partly out of sheer partisan hate that isn’t necessarily connected to any rational objective. Equally obviously, they hope that endless yammering about impeachment in the newspapers and on television will help one of their weak candidates be more competitive against President Trump next year.

Mark Levin, as noted by Matt Margolis at PJ Media, offers a further explanation:

“A neighbor of mine came up to me this evening about an hour before the show, and said something that was quite profound,” Levin explained. “He said to me, ‘I’m convinced one of the reasons they’re impeaching the president is the Supreme Court.’ I said, really? What do you mean by that? ‘Well, the president has less than 11 months to go, Ruth Bader Ginsburg appears to be very ill.’ He’s not wishing anything terrible, he’s just saying what he sees.”

Levin continued, “‘And should she have to leave the bench, by hook or by crook, they want to be able to say that not only will we not allow this president or, for that matter, any Supreme Court Justice in the remaining—whatever number of months—of his presidency, but we will never allow an impeached president to appoint anybody else to the Supreme Court, whether he wins reelection or not.’”

There are obvious flaws in that analysis, starting with the fact that the Democrats’ Senate minority is not in a position to “allow” President Trump to nominate the next Supreme Court justice. He needs 51 votes, period.

More broadly, though, I think Levin has a point. The Democrats are petrified at the prospect of President Trump appointing another conservative justice who might create a real conservative majority on the Court, for the first time in many years. Liberals understand how effectively a liberal Court has advanced their agenda in areas too unpopular to be enacted democratically, and they fear that a conservative majority might do the same thing–an idea that rarely occurs to conservatives.

While the fact that President Trump is being impeached won’t prevent him from appointing, or the Senate from confirming, a new justice, should there be a vacancy in the next eleven months, I think Levin is right to think that the Democrats are planning the ultimate Donnybrook if there is another vacancy. The idea that an impeached president shouldn’t be allowed to exercise his constitutional authority to appoint a Supreme Court justice is silly on its face, but that view would be trumpeted by pretty much every news outlet in America if the occasion arises.

In that event, the Democrats’ most realistic hope is that their campaign might persuade a handful of squishy Republican Senators to tell the White House that, in view of impeachment and all, President Trump must appoint a moderate, or they will join with the Democrats to block his choice. Would that happen? I doubt it, but the Democrats place an immense importance on the Supreme Court, and even the slim chance that impeachment could be used to frustrate the nomination of a real conservative could go a long way toward explaining why they are willing to embarrass themselves with a futile impeachment drive.

I think, though, that the alleged impeachment disability can’t survive Trump’s re-election. The window we are talking about is the next eleven months. But Ruth Ginsburg’s health is fragile enough that those eleven months may well be a part of the Democrats’ motivation for impeachment.

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