The “Biden rule”—which the then-Judiciary chairman put forth in 1992, the vice president rejected in 2016, and the nominee has re-embraced in 2020—is that the president shouldn’t make a nomination to the Supreme Court in an election year so that voters have a chance to make their voices heard. That implies that presidential elections should be national referendums on the high court—a view that is of a piece with liberal judicial philosophy in that it is at odds with the Constitution.

If Republicans give in to Democratic extortion, it will never end, and they will forfeit the authority to govern—along with the support of the voters who make up their electoral base. If Republican senators fail to stand up and fight back, many of the party’s most committed supporters will decide it is time to quit the party and perhaps even politics. They won’t support Joe Biden or other Democrats, but they have little reason to go to the polls on Election Day…

The best way to reduce the intensity of fights over judicial nominations is for the other branches of government to reclaim their constitutional powers. Liberal judges have assumed too much power; they want to write the laws, not just interpret them. Society’s most intense debates over the limits on individual autonomy and the proper role of government should not be decided by five unelected jurists, but rather by political leaders accountable to the voters.