The confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court was a sad day for this country. It is also a microcosm on a macro level of the Republican Party’s long-term game of transforming the United States' judicial system with lifetime appointments of federal judges and, through it, all of our nation's laws.
For those of us who are in the majority of persons who disagree with the Republican Party's platform and positions, it often feels as though we are a majority that is being ruled by the minority. Simple statistics indicate that feeling is accurate.
A Republican president who lost the popular vote by 2.9 million people was able to appoint three justices to the court in his first term.
The 47 senators who voted against now-Justice Barrett represent 13,524,906 more people than the 53 senators who voted in favor of her confirmation.
Barrett was confirmed by a Republican-controlled Senate eight days before an election when more than 60 million people have already voted. Meanwhile, Judge Merrick Garland couldn’t even get a confirmation hearing 293 days before an election “because it was an election year.”
The paradox of this, of course, is that the Republican Party's rhetoric to its base is that they are underrepresented and effectively being dominated by members of the Democratic Party, when of course the inverse is true.
The United States needs dramatic reforms. Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico should each be granted statehood and with it four additional senators. The number of Supreme Court justices should be increased to 13, the number of federal appeal courts, which for much of the court’s history was the custom.
Judicial reforms should be enacted at all levels, perhaps even ending lifetime appointments. Most importantly, the Democrats need the backbone and control to do it.
We'll know in November whether they'll have the control. The backbone is TBD.