- When he led the Senate, Mitch McConnell broke norms by blocking Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.
- McConnell led the vote to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Court in 2020, reversing course.
- CNN correspondent Jim Acosta said that Democrats should think like McConnell and end the filibuster.
CNN correspondent Jim Acosta said Saturday that Democrats have been out-maneuvered by US Senate Minority Mitch McConnell, an architect of a conservative-leaning Supreme Court that appears open to upholding a 15-week Mississippi abortion ban in a major case that would gut Roe v. Wade.
“If Mitch McConnell were in their shoes, what would he do?” Acosta said. “Given what we know, would we see him letting the filibuster stand? Is the filibuster more important than election rights and women’s rights? Is it more important than the lives of our teenagers, the safety of our schools?”
During the segment, Acosta outlined how the electoral college gave Trump the presidency, as well as the opportunity to nominate three Supreme Court justices during his term: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.
He also recounted McConnell’s strategy to pack the court with conservative justices, including his obstruction of President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, who would have filled a vacancy on the Supreme Court after the death of former Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. While McConnell insisted that the vacancy could not be filled during an election year, four years later he would lead the vote to nominate Coney Barrett to the court days before the 2020 election.
“Even though Americans have largely chosen Democrats for the presidency over the last three decades, a new hard-right Supreme Court appears poised to turn back the clock to the 1970s,” Acosta said. “This has created the scenario where the minority views on a whole range of hot-button issues could carry the day for a generation.”
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Acosta also cited Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who warned earlier this week that overturning Roe v. Wade would create a “stench in Washington.”
“Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception, that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts? I don’t see how it is possible,” Sotomayor said. “If people actually believe that it’s all political, how will we survive? How will the Court survive?”
The court will hand down a decision by next June on the Mississippi case concerning abortion rights. If the justices decide to overturn Roe v. Wade, at least 12 states will immediately impose near-total bans on abortion.