The Right Wing has Captured the Supreme Court But Democrats Can Counter By Winning the Senate
Amy Coney Barrett will be confirmed by the Senate and join the Supreme Court, barring any unanticipated skeletons in her closet. She will consolidate a 6-3 conservative majority that is more than eager to chip away at established court precedent protecting the rights of minorities, the poor, women and the LGBT community. With Barrett joining the majority, the court will quickly end affirmative action, gut the Affordable Care Act and weaken protects for the LBGT community by allowing broad religious exemptions. In the coming years, she will be a deciding vote in the right wing's efforts to end abortion rights, strike down gun laws, and undermine environmental regulations. Evangelicals, the NRA, and big business will love Amy Coney Barrett.
However, as Abraham Lincoln learned in the 1860s, the tonic for an activist right-wing Supreme Court is a dedicated and tireless congress willing to press ahead with progressive legislation, despite the threat of adverse court rulings. Yes, Lincoln packed the court with a 10th judge, but he also went to war with conservative justices by signing a series of popular progressive measures and then dared the court to overrule him. They didn't. The Supreme Court is quite powerful, but it has always been mindful not to stray too far from public opinion.
Of course, this strategy only works if Joe Biden wins on November 3rd and Democrats can retake the US Senate.
There are a lot of very close Senate races around the country and Democrats are leading in enough of them that they see a plausible path to the majority. Even Lindsay Graham's seat in South Carolina doesn't seem so safe any more. The most recent Quinnipiac poll showed him tied with Jaime Harrison at 44% each and Graham has been begging for donations recently, generally not a good sign for an incumbent.
South Carolina would be a stretch, but there are at least 10 other races that Democrats have a shot at. They need to net three additional seats and win the White House so that Kamala Harris can break ties in the Senate. However, Dem. Sen. Doug Jones in Alabama may fall to Republican Tommy Tuberville, the former Auburn U. football coach, so Democrats have to plan on taking four Republican seats to gain the majority.
With 5 weeks to go until election day, Democrats have leads in exactly four Senate races with a GOP incumbent, North Carolina, Maine, Colorado, and Arizona, and one other, Iowa, is within the margin of error. Additionally, Montana looks like a sleeper, with very popular former Governor, Steve Bullock just a point or two behind Republican incumbent, Steve Daines.
If Democrats can pull off victories in four of these six races and Joe Biden wins the presidency, they will capture the majority and send Mitch McConnell packing.
With just over a month to go, and voting underway in many states, here is how the key Senate races look. The polling averages are from Real Clear Politics which tends to skew a bit more Republican in how it crunches its data.
North Carolina Senate:
Cal Cunningham (D) 46.5
Thom Tillis (R) 40.5
Mark Kelly (D) 50
Martha McSally (R) 44.8
Sara Gideon (D) 48.5
Susan Collins (R) 42.0
Colorado Senate [From FiveThirtyEight]:
John Hickenlooper (D) 49
Cory Gardner (R) 42
Steve Bullock (D) 44.7
Steve Daines (R) 46.3
Theresa Greenfield (D) 45.3
Joni Ernst (R) 42.7
Iowa is an interesting case because the presidential polling has moved toward Biden over the last month. For Greenfield to defeat Ernst, she probably needs a Biden victory in the state, or a very, very close loss.
One other point. Members of the Supreme Court watch election results, just like the rest of us. A big win by Democrats on November 3rd might prevent the court from moving too far out of the mainstream on a host of issues important to progressives.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content