The Senate was ready to pass a ceremonial resolution to honor Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg but Senator Ted Cruz blocked the resolution. The wording added by Senate Democrats is unacceptable to Senator Cruz. He accuses them of politicizing the resolution.
He’s not wrong. The Senate Democrats put the alleged last wish of Ginsburg, as told by her granddaughter, into the resolution. She allegedly told her granddaughter that she wanted the next president to choose her successor. The implication from that remark is clear – she expected Joe Biden to win the presidential election and she wanted Biden to put another liberal Democrat on the court, not a conservative as President Trump will do. Cruz rightly spoke up against Democrats including the words “purportedly based on a comment Justice Ginsburg made to family members shortly before she passed.” The resolution is supposed to be a bipartisan gesture.
“This endeavor started with a resolution that the majority put forward that was intended to be a bipartisan resolution commemorating the life and service of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” Cruz said as he objected to an attempt by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to pass the resolution. “Unfortunately the Democratic leader has put forth an amendment to turn that bipartisan resolution into a partisan resolution.”
During his days as Solicitor General in Texas, Cruz argued cases nine times before the Supreme Court, including Justice Ginsburg. So, he tried to add her quote about stacking the Supreme Court. She was opposed to that idea which the Democrats now promise to attempt if President Trump moves forward with his choice of a Supreme Court nominee to replace Ginsburg. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer balked and turned surly against Cruz.
Schumer got the last word: “I believe Justice Ginsburg would easily see through the legal sophistry of the argument of the junior senator from Texas,” Schumer said. “To turn Justice Ginsburg’s dying words against her is so, so beneath the dignity of this body.”
Note that Schumer is gaslighting Cruz there. Cruz was acting in response to Schumer and the Democrats using Ginsburg’s alleged dying words against President Trump and Senate Republicans. This should not have come as a surprise to Schumer. Cruz is no shrinking violet and is known for speaking up against Democrat overreaches. This was one of those.
Democrats are frustrated because they know that nothing unites Republicans quicker than a Supreme Court opening. Remember how the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings brought out the fighting spirit in Republican politicians and voters. Senate Republicans held their ground and got the nominee confirmed despite all of the dirty tactics used by Democrats. This coming confirmation battle will be just a ugly, if not worse. Mitch McConnell has the votes to confirm whomever President Trump chooses to replace Ginsburg and that person will be confirmed quickly. It’s a done deal.
Senate Republicans know that they are expected to get the job done. This is why many Republican voters voted for Trump in 2016 – the judicial appointments and especially the Supreme Court. Trump and McConnell have been champions in getting nominations moved through the Senate for confirmation. The icing on the cake is that this Supreme Court nominee will be President Trump’s third nominee. The Supreme Court will be 6-3 in favor of conservative justices.
The Democrats feel entitled to Ginsburg’s seat on the bench. The problem with that is that neither party is entitled to a seat on the bench. When a vacancy occurs, the president has the constitutional authority to fill them with the “advice and consent” of the Senate. It’s the Senate’s constitutional prerogative to determine whether or not to move forward with a judicial confirmation. That decision falls under the advice and consent part of the process. Does anyone think the Democrats, if they held the White House and the majority in the Senate, would do anything differently? No, of course not.
Tensions are high over the battle coming to replace Ginsburg. Senator Cruz was right to insist that a traditional resolution honoring the life and work of a Supreme Court justice be one that reflects both sides of the aisle, not a resolution that favored one party over the other.