Decision 2020

Replacement of Justice Ginsburg to Alter the Political Landscape

NBC Universal, Inc.

The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is altering the political landscape. Experts say it’s nirvana for conservatives that President Donald Trump will appoint a third justice to the Supreme Court. For Democrats, it may be painful, but it’s also energizing the base like nothing before.

"I would say on Friday or Saturday I'll be announcing the pick. Five women are being looked at vetted very closely,” said Trump, poised to nominate another conservative to the Supreme Court. 

A move that would shift the court to the right, and many experts say, almost certainly guarantee the end of Obamacare, and a slew of other progressive causes.

“And from there would be a woman’s right to choose, DACA, a number of programs that were good for Democrats and incredibly terrible for Republicans, once considered safe, will be vulnerable,” said NBC Bay Area Political Analyst Larry Gerston.

Democrats, and their presidential candidate Joe Biden, are fighting to delay the confirmation hearing until after the next president is sworn in. Republicans want the vote held while they are certain to control the senate. Whatever happens, the death of Justice Ginsburg has served to super energize the electorate.

Act Blue, a Democratic fundraising site, reports $100 million in donations since her passing. Local Democratic volunteers, like Palo Alto’s Titi Liu, also report a new energy.

“I have to say over the past weekend, we had so many people reach out to us and say, ‘we’ve seen all your posts on Facebook over the past four years but now we feel a sense of urgency. What can we do?’” said Liu.

Gerston says Republicans are feeling energized as well, hoping to hang on to the Senate and the White House.

“So you’re going to see voter turnout that will be record breaking in size and a bigger turnout than we’ve seen in 40 to 50 years,” said Gerston.

Liu, who teaches at Stanford Law School, tells her people the political ground game is all about registration, mobilization, and voter protection. That’s why she plans to be in Reno, Nevada on election day to make sure every vote is counted.

“In this election, I really believe that our democracy and our rule of law is at stake,” she said.

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