I know the common story is that the Supreme Court vacancy is a matter for the U.S. Senate. But if you read this recent memo on what the Democrats could do if they really wanted to prevent packing the Court with rightwingers, something may jump out at you: The House also has control over this matter.
Donald Trump came into office openly violating both emoluments clauses, threatening to wage wars to steal oil and kill people’s families, promising to discriminate in immigration on the basis of religion, inciting violence at events, fighting vote counting in courts, and committed to politicizing prosecutions. Trump has publicly threatened nuclear war on two countries, waged and escalated numerous illegal wars, and dramatically increased the drone murder program. He’s abused the pardon power and the power to declare emergencies. He’s promoted racism and hatred. He’s separated children from their families. He’s illegally torn up treaties and proliferated weapons technology to brutal dictatorships. He’s intentionally exacerbated climate collapse. He’s taken deliberate acts to spread a deadly disease that has killed over 200,000 people just in the United States. He’s threatened a coup if he loses an election.
The U.S. House of Representatives could choose to pick up any of these impeachable offenses tomorrow morning and impeach Trump for it. I’d recommend a top-ten list. I’d also recommend leaving fictional tales about Russia out of it, but the impact as regards the Supreme Court would be the same either way.
That impact is this:
When the House impeaches, the Senate has to stop everything else and put the impeached person on trial. That means, no Supreme Court justice confirmation, no more coronavirus money for weapons dealers, no more of the general death and destruction dealt out by the Senate every hour it’s open for business. Halting Senate activities is almost always good for the world, but now in particular.
The fact that the House sent unproven theories about Ukraine and Russia to the Senate a relatively short time back is not the public’s fault. The availability of a long list of stronger charges should be taken as a fortunate opportunity now.
The excuse that even on an indisputable charge Trump might still not be convicted by the Senate misses the point now more than ever. The point is this:
If you’re going to tell me that I should stick a clothespin on my nose and try to convince innocent people to vote for Joe Biden because . . . wait for it . . . THE SUPREME COURT IS AT STAKE, then why in the hell can’t some members of Congress speak and write a few words with “Impeachment” at the top when THE SUPREME COURT IS AT STAKE?
Impeaching Trump can be done. It already has been. Impeaching him on serious charges can be done, since impeaching him on unproven partisan warmongering charges already has been. And if you impeach Trump, the Senate has to cease and desist its evil activities.
Or you could do the other things in that memo linked above, like make long speeches and motions to delay, and look like people who don’t really stand for anything but want to finally pay the Republicans back for once for their cheating and scheming — something fewer people than you imagine give a damn about.