Sending the nominee to the Senate, but not trying to strong arm it, makes Trump look shrewdly decisive. He would not put the nominee and threatened senators through the grueling process with no chance for victory before the election. It also amps up the pressure on Biden to release at least a list of potential nominees or worse, puts him in a box where he has to name one.
Then there’s the matter of what RBG’s eventual replacement will do: expound the Constitution. Americans got a unique chance to shape the direction of the court in 2016, and they chose to keep it on the same path by electing a Republican to replace a right-leaning justice, and later, another. It is nothing short of amazing that Americans will again get a chance directly to weigh in on the path the court takes with their votes for president and senator in November 2020.
Despite the chief justice’s protestations to the contrary, we can and do think of judges politically. But, it’s a different kind of politics. The parties have different visions of what the Constitution means and how best to interpret it. That’s good. Americans can make clear choices with their vote in this election on the fundamental questions that define higher law in the country. Every lawyer, judge, and justice should applaud this opportunity.