At Business Insider Allen Smith reports on a proposal by Trump advisor Chris Ruddy that strikes me as pretty shrewd. Cut a deal with Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg whereby she’d retire and he’d nominate Merrick Garland to replace her:
Chris Ruddy, a confidant of President Donald Trump, told Business Insider in a Monday interview that Trump should cut a deal with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. His proposition: Replace her on the bench with Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s choice to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s vacated seat in 2016.
Ruddy, who wrote about his opposition to the Senate’s invoking the so-called nuclear option to help get Judge Neil Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court, said Trump nominating Garland to the court would be a “huge move.”
“I think they made a big mistake by pulling the nuclear option,” Ruddy said. “I wrote about it. I said they should not have done it. I think that he still should pick Merrick Garland and do a deal. Ruth Bader Ginsburg wants to retire, and I think they should swap her out, give her an offer where they would put Merrick Garland on the Supreme Court.”
“They would remove a very liberal Democrat with a moderate, consensus Democrat, who I think Garland is,” Ruddy added. “And I think it would be a huge move and a sign for Trump that he’s willing to break through the political ice.”
Such a move would
- Preserve the putative partisan balance of the Supreme Court
- Potentially move the ideological balance of the court in a direction more to the liking of his base
- Ensure that Trump has another bite at the Supreme Court justice apple rather than gambling on the health and temper of Justices Ginsburg and Kennedy
- Give the impression of being conciliatory without actually being conciliatory
Would Trump do it? Would RBG bite? I have no idea.
I doubt that it would pick up any support from the Sanders-Warren wing of the Democratic Party but it might sow some doubt.