I find it amazing that our brilliant forefathers designed a Constitution that has guided our nation for some 233 years. Although our Supreme Court justices have been appointed by both Republican and Democratic presidents, the justices have been able to rule impartially, setting aside their own political and personal views. It is especially interesting in Supreme Court history that there were a few justices who have been selected by presidents of opposing political parties. These justices obviously were respected for their outstanding qualifications. In today’s world, this would be almost impossible to occur. Republicans and Democrats are irrefutably divided.

Judges nominated for the Supreme Court are interviewed before the Senate votes on their eligibility and acceptability for this lifetime position. If they display any bias, they are to be considered unacceptable. Ms. Amy Coney Barrett, unfortunately, is not impartial on at least two subjects that are scheduled for discussion when the Court session resumes. She has written papers in objection to the Affordable Care Act, and she has openly stated her views against abortion. She has a fine conservative reputation, but she is not qualified for a Supreme Court placement.

In contrast to the Supreme Court justices’ presumed impartiality, President Trump nominated Judge Barrett for her biased views, which match his views. Mr. Trump announced publicly he also has a devious plan for using a “Republican Majority” Supreme Court. If he happens to lose the election, he claims he will consider the voting fraudulent: “fake voting using faulty ballots.” His plan is for the issue to be brought to the Supreme Court whose justices would then declare him the winner. He said he does not plan to leave the office. In other words, he would become “Dictator Trump.”

Most of us assumed there would be no discussion at this time, concerning a replacement for Justice Ginsburg’s seat. Four years ago, when President Obama selected Merrick Garland to replace Justice Scalia on the Court, Mitch McConnell and his “lock-step” senators refused to even meet with Judge Garland. Their reasoning was that “in only a few months,” there would be an election. In truth, the Garland nomination was made on March 16, 2016, which was 7½ months prior to the November 2016 election. Their decision was to allow the new president to choose the nominee.

Now only 44 days before this election, Trump has hurriedly named a nominee. He is within the law to select a nominee, but if he had some concept of fairness as to the restrictions placed on President Obama’s choice, there would be no nomination at this time.

This rush to fill the seat is a shameful insult to the memory of the honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg. This nomination announcement was delivered five days after Justice Ginsburg’s death and before she was laid to rest. I was extremely saddened by President Trump’s insensitivity. 

Our democracy, with its three equal branches of government and its Constitution, has kept our nation progressing reasonably well over the years until Trump. There have been many challenges this nation has had to face, including the terrible loss of life during the Civil War and all the other wars in which we participated, but our democracy prevailed. Although we must tackle the problems of COVID-19, racism, foreign interference, and the greed, hate, and power madness by corrupt leaders, we will overcome these scourges and preserve our precious democracy.

What can we do? 

1) Vote! 

2) Email and/or call Senators to vote “no” on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. 

Politics aside, we all sincerely hope the President and the First Lady have a speedy and complete recovery from COVID. We are all aware of the President’s views on precautionary measures to prevent being a victim of this virus, but we should not concern ourselves with recriminations. This is a time for us to focus on conquering this enemy virus, and have a science-based plan for a healthier future for all of us. 

Harriet Hausman is a longtime resident of River Forest.

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