It's no secret that Republicans take filling judgeships much more seriously than Democrats. President Trump released his first list of prospective Supreme Court nominees before he was even elected, back in September 2016, and - in what was taken at the time as a grim harbinger of RBG's condition - released his most recent revisions/additions earlier this month, just days before RBG died.
But in the latest indication of just how low a priority selecting Supreme Court judges has been for Democrats - after all, they're not even in power, right? - Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is reportedly refusing to release a list of potential nominees, should he ever get the opportunity to fill the vacancy left by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Politico reported last night that Biden is taking a "cautious" approach to filling the position. After making his initial statement on Saturday, the Biden campaign has shut down public activity, while Biden and his team retreat to the basement.
Meanwhile, the Trump Campaign has been upping the pressure, calling on Biden to release a list of names. Democrats, including President Obama, have demanded that Republicans delay filling the seat until after the election. Mitch McConnell infamously killed the nomination of Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, by refusing to bring a vote to the floor.
While Biden himself was silent publicly, his campaign was laying plans to shift the focus of the looming Supreme Court nomination fight toward a referendum on the Affordable Care Act, according to his advisers. The high court is scheduled to hear the fate of Obamacare after the election.
Against that backdrop Saturday, President Trump’s campaign and even some Democrats demanded that Biden release his own list of potential court nominees — which Biden has steadfastly refused to do. Nor has Biden addressed the mounting pressure in his party to take a position on abolishing the Senate filibuster or packing the U.S. Supreme Court if Senate Republicans confirm Trump’s nominee before Inauguration Day. Biden has opposed ending the filibuster outright and court-packing in the past, though in July he expressed an openness to consider eliminating the filibuster.
Of course, Democrats and Biden's allies indignantly accused the GOP of disrespecting the morning period for RBG's passing.
"That’s sort of a wasted conversation because that concedes defeat right now. And the last thing we should be doing is analyzing how we’re going to recover from this loss,” said Hilary Rosen, an outside Biden campaign adviser and vice president at the SKDKnickerbocker firm, where top Biden adviser Anita Dunn is managing partner.
"Today is an RBG-fired engine. There’s nothing Joe Biden can say today to fire us up more,” Rosen said, adding that Biden also paused from publicly campaigning out of respect for Ginsburg’s passing.
As Politico explained, Biden is being 'cautious' because he doesn't want to get sucked into a Twitter feud with Trump over the nominees. But to Republicans, it looks like just another example of Biden dropping the ball. After all, they should have seen this coming, right?
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Here is the latest full list of potential SCOTUS candidates (Trump has released names on three occasions - Sept 2016, Nov 2017, and most recently Sept 9th 2020)...
1. Bridget Bade, a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
2. Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Barrett was a finalist for Trump's second high court nomination, which ultimately went to Brett Kavanaugh
3. Keith Blackwell of Georgia, Supreme Court of Georgia
4. Charles Canady of Florida, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Florida
5. Daniel Cameron, the 51st attorney general of the Commonwealth of Kentucky
6. Paul Clement, a partner with Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, who previously served as solicitor general
7. Steven Colloton of Iowa, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
8. Tom Cotton, U.S. senator for Arkansas
9. Ted Cruz, U.S. senator for Texas
10. Stuart Kyle Duncan, judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
11. Allison Eid of Colorado, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
12. Steven Engel, assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel of the United States Department of Justice
13. Noel Francisco, former solicitor general
14. Britt Grant of Georgia, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
15. Raymond Gruender of Missouri, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
16. Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Hardiman was also a finalist for the nomination that went to Kavanaugh
17. Josh Hawley, U.S. senator for Missouri. Hawley has already said he would decline the president's endorsement to the court
18. James Ho, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
19. Gregory Katsas, judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
20. Raymond Kethledge of Michigan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
21. Barbara Lagoa, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
22. Christopher Landau, U.S. ambassador to Mexico
23. Joan Larsen of Michigan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
24. Mike Lee of Utah, United States Senator
25. Thomas Lee of Utah, Supreme Court of Utah
26. Edward Mansfield of Iowa, Supreme Court of Iowa
27. Federico Moreno of Florida, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
28. Carlos Muñiz, a justice on the Supreme Court of Florida
29. Kevin Newsom of Alabama, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
30. Martha Pacold, judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
31. Peter Phipps, judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
32. Sarah Pitlyk, a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
33. William Pryor of Alabama, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
34. Allison Jones Rushing, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
35. Margaret Ryan of Virginia, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
36. David Stras of Minnesota, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
37. Diane Sykes of Wisconsin, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
38. Amul Thapar of Kentucky, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
39. Kate Todd, deputy assistant to the president and deputy counsel to the president
40. Timothy Tymkovich of Colorado, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
41. Lawrence VanDyke, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
42. Robert Young of Michigan, Supreme Court of Michigan (Ret.)
43. Don Willett, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
44. Patrick Wyrick, District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma