The Republican-majority Senate approved Amy Coney Barrett as the next Supreme Court justice in a controversial ruling last week.
This ruling of 52-48 came after only one Republican, Susan Collins, R-Maine, went across party lines and voted against the approval of Barrett. Democrats were ever-hopeful more Republicans would cross party lines and vote against Barrett’s confirmation, but many of the centrist-Republicans that had a chance to switch their vote remained consistent with their own party.
Mitt Romney is one of these centrist Republicans, but he came out in support of this far-right wing Associate Justice, claiming the Supreme Court is one of the most trusted institutions by American citizens. This was almost fuel for the Democratic argument, where many argued that with the election coming up, Republicans should have waited until after the election, as it would better represent the American people’s opinion.
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Considering Trump may be one of the most radical presidents in American history, his choice for Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat is just as radical. Because her mentor was Antonin Scalia, Barrett is posed to rule on issues very similar to his own conservative viewpoints. She was even quoted saying “I clerked for Justice Scalia more than 20 years ago, but the lessons I learned still resonate. His judicial philosophy is mine, too.”
Yet, one of the biggest issues set to be ruled upon in the coming Supreme Court session is abortion, specifically whether Roe v. Wade should be overturned or not.
As Barrett is a far-right Justice, many think her prospective rulings will rule against the Roe v. Wade decision. Previously in 2018, Barrett dissented in the Indiana Supreme Court on two laws struck down about abortion, one of which dealt with abortion as a method to choose the sex of a child and the other discussed the procedure of requiring a burial for the remains of the abortion after it was completed.
Both of these laws have the obvious hopes of restricting women’s access to abortions, without dealing with the main question of the legality of abortion. Though, one of the laws struck down differs slightly, as it has strong applications to the pro-life argument, whereas requiring a burial is almost personifying the abortion procedure.
This decision, coming only eight days before the presidential election, has an impact on more states than ever. There are more states up for grabs for either candidate.
In particular, Wisconsin — being in the spotlight for this election as one of the key states — could see shifts in voter turnout. Approving a Supreme Court justice in an extremely short amount of time is most definitely a win for the Trump Administration and his campaign, and it could ideally give a morale boost to his voter base.
By appointing a far-right justice, Trump could improve voter turnout for his far-right voters, as their views are now better represented in the highest judicial system. Alternatively, for Democrats and undecided centrist voters, Donald Trump’s short-term victory with a small Republican majority in the Senate could show the majority of the country as not being in favor of Amy Coney Barrett as the next Supreme Court justice.
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For Wisconsin voters, Amy Coney Barrett or not, there needs to be more focus on the larger picture. Does Donald Trump actually deserve credit for choosing an extremely partisan candidate and passing her through the Senate in an extremely partisan fashion?
The decision should not just be made on this question, whether or not you agree with the candidate on a majority of their running points.
Regardless, it is important to vote no matter the belief a voter has. November 3rd is extremely close and it is time to make a decision on who the better candidate is, but this decision should be made with little outside influence. Instead, your own discussion about your own viewpoints should be key in making your decision this coming election.
Ethan Wollins ([email protected]) is a freshman majoring in political science.