Bradley professor explains process, significance in filling Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett last Saturday has some Americans worried about two major cases on the docket: the Affordable Care Act and abortion.

Bradley’s Political Science Professor Dr. Craig Curtis explained since 1980, the Republican party has made an effort to put judges in the court that would overrule Roe v. Wade. He said the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the long-lasting legislative impacts show why it’s important to know who and what you are voting for.

Curtis discussed what he knows regarding the selection of Barrett and why it matters.

What is the typical process for appointing a new Supreme Court Justice?

Curtis: “The constitution is really very clear that justice and supreme court are going to be appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate{..} The senate then has to hold hearings. Normally those are done in the judiciary committee{..} prior to those hearings, typically there are series of one on one meetings between the nominee and members of the Senate.”

How long does this process take?

Curtis: “The average time to approve a supreme court nominee in modern time is about 70 days. Sen. McConnel, Sen.Graham, and the president have made it clear that they want this to happen much faster than that. It can happen as fast as the Senate is willing to act{…}I strongly suspect we have Justice Barrett know Judge Barrett, soon to be Justice Barrett seated before the election.”

What can Democrats do, if anything, to slow down the appointment?

Curtis: “The Democrats have a few procedural maneuvers they can use to slow things down, but there really isn’t much they can do, and politically, it may not be a very wise thing to try to be obstructionists. I mean, they do not have the votes, so they will be delaying something that is inventible, and in the process, they might be harming there likely hood of taking control of the senate in the 2020 elections.”

How could a conservative majority impact Americans immediately?

Curtis: “The supreme court has been dominated by the Republican Party since 1973. There has not been a democratic majority since that time. It has been a self-intentioned effort by the Republican Party to put judges on the court who would overrule Roe v. Wade since 1980, so it is widely expected that Judge Barret will represent a fifth or sixth vote to overturn Roe v. Wade when the right case comes. That case is not pending in the court right now.

Curtis: “With regard to the Affordable Care Act, there will be [an] oral argument on the validity of the affordable care in a lawsuit involving Texas and California right after the election. If Judge Barret is seated and becomes Justice Barrett before that time, she will participate in oral arguments. And many observers believe, and certainly, the Democratic party wants to make this an issue that she would be sympathetic to the arguments that the Affordable Care Act should be overturned and that it would result in that act going away, which would have pretty dire consequences for 20 or so million people who currently have that insurance.”

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