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Justice Ginsburg looks on as President Trump swears in Justice Brett Kavanaugh after a contentious confirmation process. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Before the ink had dried on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death certificate, President Donald Trump announced that he would nominate her successor. In a breathtaking display of hypocrisy, Republicans, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, united around the need to confirm a new justice only a few weeks before the upcoming presidential election. These same Republicans refused to consider President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, who was picked to fill the recently-departed Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat back in 2016 because of the impending presidential contest.

Only two GOP Senators have indicated that they will defect from their party and not support a rushed candidate for the Supreme Court, which is not enough to prevent the Federalist Society’s darling, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, from being confirmed right before the election. Allowing Trump the opportunity to successfully seat a third justice in a single term in office, effectively cementing a strong conservative majority on the Court for generations to come, would hand the embattled incumbent a key victory that will undoubtedly satisfy Evangelicals and could energize undecided voters. …

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Trump looking like his voters feel in the wake of his failed reelection bid (Photo: Pool/Getty Images News)

I know how you’re feeling. You’re tired. Angry. Defeated. You’ve staked your hopes for the future of the United States on the fortunes of a political leader who represented everything you knew to be right and true. You felt proud to be American once again. After spending the previous eight years wondering how the country had drifted so far from its erstwhile status as the “shining city upon a hill,” you were back on top and life was good.

But just as soon as you began enjoying the feeling of the wind at your back, it was all taken away in spectacularly public fashion, your once soaring spirit now crushed beneath the weight of expectations gone unfulfilled. I know. …

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Trump voters hold campaign signs that reflect their personal values. (Photo: Office of the President of the U.S.)

Back in 2004, I found myself perplexed by the results of the latest presidential election. I was sure that getting the United States into yet another war in Iraq and having an approval rating below 50% would spell certain doom for the incumbent candidate, President George W. Bush. If nothing else was certain, I knew Florida wouldn’t vote the same way it did in 2000, when the presidency hinged on a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to stop a recount of ballots cast in my home state. Given how close the election was last time, there was no way Florida would turn red again. After all, I only knew four Republicans. …


Josh Gellers

I’m an associate professor of political science, Fulbright scholar, and author. Follow me @JoshGellers or visit my website

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