Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Russ Feingold - Why It’s Appropriate to Expand the Supreme Court

Former Wisconsin U.S. Senator Russ Feingold has thought longer and harder than most Americans about the US Senate’s handling of Supreme Court nominations, and he knows something has got to change. As the former chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on the Constitution, and as the current president of the American Constitution Society, he has fought to maintain the deliberative process by which the Senate is supposed to provide advice and consent in a finely balanced system of checks and balances.

But as Republicans coalesce in support of a drive by President Donald Trump and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell to seat a replacement for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before or immediately after the November 3 election, Feingold says, “What’s happening now is a mockery of what everybody believed was the appropriate way to handle those nominations.” Like most progressives, the former senator from Wisconsin supports delaying action to replace Justice Ginsburg until after a president is sworn in on January 20, 2021. 

If Senate Republicans succeed in “ramming through” a nominee to succeed the justice, as many now fear is likely, Feingold says there will need to be “a very serious and public discussion about the need to take serious measures to provide reparations for what could be the theft of a second Supreme Court seat.” As part of that discussion, the ACS president says, there has to be recognition of “the fact that it is perfectly appropriate for the Congress to determine that there should be more justices on the Court.”

Here’s The Nation’s discussion with Russ Feingold on Justice Ginsburg’s legacy, the current nomination fight and the future of the high court — Click Here

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