"US Supreme Court West Facade" by Matt Wade / CC BY-SA 3.0

The Christian Right’s Destructive Courthouse Moment Has Arrived

Aug 18, 2020

By Robyn E. Blumner

“My motto for the rest of the year is leave no vacancy behind,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt in late March.

The Kentucky Republican was talking about filling vacant federal judgeships, of course. McConnell reconvened the U.S. Senate in May—while Washington, D.C., was still under shelter-at-home orders and daily death tolls from COVID-19 were still shockingly high—so he could confirm more judges.

It’s all about the judges.

President Donald Trump has appointed nearly one of every four federal judges now sitting. As of this writing, he’s appointed 193, including two U.S. Supreme Court justices: Neil Gorsuch, who obtained the seat after McConnell blocked President Barack Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland, and Brett Kavanaugh. Trump attained this stunning number in such a short time through McConnell’s chicanery. There were already over 100 judicial vacancies to fill when Trump arrived, largely because McConnell obstructed Obama’s picks in 2015 and 2016.

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One comment on “The Christian Right’s Destructive Courthouse Moment Has Arrived”

  • I’ve always been suspicious of judicial activism, not for the usual right-wing reasons, but because it lets the political system and the politicians off of the hook.  Issues which should have been dealt with out in the open can conveniently be shunted off to the judges, who up until recently could be relied on to sort out the mess, without politicians being blamed by the right-wing voters, or the whole of society having to address its systemic problems.  Racial segregation and gay rights would be two such matters.

    Now the boot is on the other foot, and likely to remain there for the next generation or two, leaving progressive people and organisations with little wriggle room – they after colluded in the process, by going to court rather than politics.  Perhaps that is a bit hard on them – I suppose that the left would argue, that if the courts had not been utilised, then no social progress at all would have happened, and they’d probably be right.

    All the same, the result is a right-wing, proto-fascist logjam, which it might prove impossible to loosen….deliver us from evil.


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