WASHINGTON: Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday she would not rule out impeaching President Donald Trump if he pushes through his nominee to replace a Supreme Court judge.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal judge who championed gender equality during her long association with the Supreme Court, died on Friday.
President Trump tweeted on Saturday that he would fill the seat now. `We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions,` he wrote, adding that Republicans had an `obligation` to fill the vacant seat `without delay` And Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced that `President Trump`s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the Senate`. In 2016, McConnell opposed president Barack Obama`s attempt to fill a Supreme Court vacancy months before the election.
But the situation has changed since then.
Now Republicans control the White House and have a majority in the Senate too.
There are 53 Republicans, 45Democrats and two independents in the 100-seat Senate. Both independents caucus with the Democrats, who have a majority in the House.
But even a three-seat majority allows Republicans to induct another conservative in the Supreme Court.
Although Democrats do not want conservatives to control the judiciary, there`s nothing they can do to stop it as it`s the Senate that confirms Supreme Court judges.
Although on Sunday, some Democrats launched a $10 million campaign to stop the Republican move, their best option is to focus on winning the Senate on Nov 3, when America goes to the polls.
The Senate plays a key role in allocation of funds to the administration and confirms all senior civil, military and diplomatic appointments. It supervises major foreign policy issues as well.
On Nov 3, elections will be held for 33 of the 100 Senate seats and two more to fill the vacancy created by the death of two serving senators. The winners will be elected to six-year terms from Jan 3, 2021, to Jan 3, 2027.
A Democratic majority in the Senate and the House will enable former vice president Joe Biden to take bold decisions if he defeats President Donald Trump on Nov 3.If Trump is re-elected but loses the Senate, he cannot implement his agenda for reshaping America on conservative Republican values, as many in his party desire.
The Washington Post estimates that Democrats have a chance of winning 13 new seats. This confirms predictions that the Covid-19 pandemic could help them win both the Senate and the White House.
But the Post reported this weel( that `Republican strategists are seeing evidence that voters turned off by President Trump`s handling of the coronavirus are starting to come home` Republicans believe that `it might be enough for some of these vulnerable Republican senators to hang on and deny Democrats the majority`.
A Washington think-tank, Brookings Institute, noted that in 2016 every state with a Senate race elected a senator from the same party as the presidential candidate who won the state.
`The fate of these Senate candidates, then, will likely be connected to President Trump`s standing,` said the report, adding that of the six most vulnerable Senate Republicans, two were running in states that Biden was expected to win. Two more are running in swing states. The final two hail from states that are safe for Trump.