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Trump Packs the Court His Way

The appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court will almost certainly produce a hard conservative majority that may well thwart the progressive policies that US presidential candidate Joe Biden seeks to enact. It could also overturn longstanding precedents that have expanded American liberties.

WASHINGTON, DC – Following the US elections on November 3 – although its final resolution may take longer – the partisan arrangements of almost the entire US federal government are subject to change. Only the House of Representatives appears certain to remain in the same party’s hands (the Democrats’). The Republican-dominated Senate could be won by the Democrats. The conservative-leaning Supreme Court is now shifting far to the right, given the Senate’s confirmation of President Donald Trump’s nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, to the seat previously held by the late liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

One oddity of the US system is that even if Democratic candidate Joe Biden wins the election, overcoming barriers already thrown in his way by Court decisions and voter suppression, the presidency will remain for over two months in the hands of a man whose physical and mental stability are in doubt. The current constitutional arrangements to deal with presidential mental or physical incapacity are unworkable. Little is said publicly about this precarious situation; timorous newspapers are reluctant to mention the crazy uncle in the White House, even though Trump’s behavior of late has been even more aberrant than usual, possibly an effect of having had COVID-19 and taking powerful medications.

Perhaps confusing the current race with that of 2016, Trump has resumed attacking Hillary Clinton, turning on his most subservient cabinet members for not indicting her, as well as former President Barack Obama, and Biden – for whatever reasons. Trump tosses around nebulous charges of left-wing terrorism and mail-in voting fraud, though The Washington Post has found his charges of ballot fraud fraudulent.

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