Trump likes optics. He thinks Mike Pence looks like a President, and that helped get him the VP job. The optics of appointing Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court are too good for Trump to pass up.
The finest “optics” I’ve seen in a judicial confirmation fight were in Sam Alito’s appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Alito is as mild mannered as you get, as is his law librarian wife. She was obviously very proud of her husband as she sat behind him in the gallery while he was being questioned.
As Ted Kennedy launched a wholly spurious and vicious libel against her husband, Mrs. Alito could be seen on television as she reacted to this attack. She was horrified, and you knew Kennedy was full of it. He came across as an ignorant bully, and his attack got nowhere. It was wonderful political theater.
Ideally, during her confirmation, some Democratic members of the Judiciary Committee would attack Judge Barrett on her Catholic faith. It would be political poison, but they might not be able to restrain themselves. It’s worth nominating Barrett just on the chance that even just one Democratic Senator will reveal anti-Catholic bigotry. Judge Barrett could drive the left as batty as Trump does.
And when the time comes to overturn Roe v. Wade, it will be Justice Barrett’s job to write the majority opinion. It will look better, coming from a woman. Just as it will look better when Justice Thomas authors the opinion overturning affirmative action.
I don’t doubt that Roe will go. It’s such a terrible decision, it has to go. Chief Justice Roberts has uncommonly good political instincts. He’ll decide when the time is right.
Speaking of Roberts and his political savvy, I would argue the Trump Revolution began in June of 2012 when Roberts ruled Obamacare was constitutional. Because of that ruling, in October of 2013 Obamacare went into effect, and the Trump Revolution began. A little more than a year later, in the 2014 elections, Democrats lost the Senate — because of Obamacare. If Roberts had ruled Obamacare unconstitutional in 2012, the Senate would have stayed Democrat, and would probably still be Democratic today.
This will be the Roberts Court for another generation. Roberts is 62, and in good health. He could be around for another 20 years. Lots of time to undo generations of mischief done to constitutional jurisprudence. By a court led by a man with a brilliant political mind.
Law and politics are virtually the same thing.