A UCI Law School professor said Friday evening that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has set a record pace of approval of federal judges, so will move quickly to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg despite the looming presidential election.
“Can it be done in such a short period of time? This we shall see, but not since George Washington have there been so many federal judges appointed” as during the Trump administration, Michele Goodwin said.
For the U.S. Senate, “The real question will be … will they be led by facts or by party loyalty,” Goodwin said.
The professor said she expects Trump already has a list of candidates who have been vetted.
The real deadline to appoint a justice is not election night on Nov. 3, but in January when the new president is sworn in, Goodwin said. It may be easier for a lame-duck Senate to push through a Trump appointee than before the election when some GOP senators may be leery of taking a difficult vote, she said.
Goodwin called Ginsburg’s death “a tragic passing. She has been an indefatigable warrior, not just for women’s rights, but civil liberties dating back to her time at the ACLU.”
Goodwin, author of “Policing the Womb: The New Race & Class Politics of Reproduction,” which was released in March, recalled how she took her now adult daughter to the Supreme Court when she was 9 years old.
“A very good friend of mine was the chief librarian at the Supreme Court so we had the opportunity to tour the court … I think Justice (Sandra Day) O’Connor had left the court by this time, so for my daughter to see Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a profound moment for a little girl, particularly given the justice’s commitment to women’s equality. It was a powerful that I will not forget. I have photos in my office of that day.”
Goodwin said, “There isn’t a woman alive who hasn’t been affected by the jurisprudence of Justice Ginsburg. That jurisprudence opened the doors to equality in the context of the law writ large.”