Growing indignation is currently pounding on president Donald Trump over his fraudulent administration and the apparent collusion between his campaign and the Russia government to interfere in 2016 the election. But while everyone was distracted by Trump’s scandals, a far greater crime against American democracy was being perpetrated, clearly visible, yet scarcely noted.
Using Trump’s distractions as a cover, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) repeatedly violated the Constitution and got away with it.
McConnell single-handedly decided who should serve on the Supreme Court by blocking Merrick Garland from being considered after he was nominated in 2016 by President Obama and then invoking the nuclear option to confirm Neil Gorsuch, all in an effort to replace the strict constructionist Antonin Scalia with another strict constructionist, Gorsuch.
One would think that a strict constructionist would find McConnell’s actions unacceptable and even criminal, as McConnell essentially dissolved the separation of power between the three branches of our government in a clear violation of the constitution.
And McConnell wasn’t subtle about his political motive. He announced he was holding the Constitution at bay in the hope that a Republican would win the presidential election and therefore conservatives could restore their 5-4 majority. Trump’s victory fulfilled McConnell’s gamble. The country, however, will suffer the damaging consequences of right-wing lawmaking for years to come.
Who lost? Women and minorities are likely candidates, probably also workers in general, since right-wing judges tend to favor owners and employers over labor. Progressive decisions that advanced equality years ago—even decades ago—could now be re-opened for reactionary reconsideration.
Who won? Why, corporations, of course, and their law firms and those corporate lawyers of the Federalist Society who perhaps yearn to become Supremes themselves some day.
Americans should be reminded of this every time the conservative majority strips some innocent victims of their rights.
McConnell’s criminal manipulation of the Supreme Court illustrates why Democrats need to toughen up their political game. This should be a wake-up moment for them. Progressives should remember and use this episode to fuel a nationwide resistance, and the best reason to retake control of Congress in 2018.