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The rushed appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court tells a story of a party aware of its own weaknesses. The nation is a week out from a national election that Republicans may very well lose. And in the long run, the GOP remains threatened by a generational changing of the guard.
As such, Barrett’s seat on the court, which rounds out a 6-3 conservative majority, is best understood as a political Hail Mary, thrown by a party that anticipates losing legislative ground for the near future, our writers argue.
The Republican Party understands that Barrett’s confirmation is coming just a week before a potential electoral “bloodbath.” They don’t care, Emma Green reports.
The push to confirm Barrett—and other federal judges—is really an attempt to counter a changing electorate. “Every young conservative judge that the GOP has stacked onto the federal courts amounts to a sandbag against that rising demographic wave,” our polling expert Ronald Brownstein writes.
Barrett’s preferred judicial philosophy doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, Senator Angus King Jr. and the professor Heather Cox Richardson argue: “Originalism is an intellectual cloak drummed up (somewhat recently) to dignify a profoundly retrogressive view of the Constitution.”
8 days remain until the 2020 presidential election. Here’s today’s essential read: