Fight over Ginsburg seat poses stark question: Can majority rule survive in U.S.?

If the Republican-led Senate confirms a nominee from President Donald Trump before January, it would mark the third time a GOP-majority Senate that represents well below half of the US population — allocating half of each state to each senator — would elevate a justice chosen by Trump, who lost the popular vote, to the Supreme Court.

Two of the five currently serving Republican-appointed justices were nominated by President George W. Bush, who also initially lost the popular vote. The final one, Clarence Thomas, was approved by senators who also represented less than half of Americans.

These incongruities would be enormously deepened if Trump and/or the GOP-led Senate loses in November and confirms the nominee anyway. That would raise enormous questions about the Supreme Court’s legitimacy and create pressure on Democrats to enlarge the court if they win unified control of government, a step that would underscore how the action-reaction cycle of contemporary political combat is creating perhaps the greatest strains on the American governmental system since the Civil War…

Whether majority rule survives in American politics “is the fundamental question of our time, when you layer on the fact that we are determining whether a multiracial democracy can exist,” says Heather McGhee, former president of the liberal research and advocacy group Demos.

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