Trump Knows the Power of the Supreme Court—Why Don’t Democrats?
Published in The Nation
Instead of making the Supreme Court a campaign issue that could rally the base and bring over independents who also think the Republican pro-death, pro-gun, pro-bigotry, anti-choice judges are a little extreme, the Democrats running for president once again seem committed to running away from making the court a galvanizing campaign issue. Perhaps they remain too afraid of the Republican hordes—who already know how crucial the Supreme Court is to usher in their white supremacist theocracy—to offer a vision of what a progressive jurisprudence looks like.
It doesn’t have to be this way. The Democratic bench of potential judicial nominees is every bit as deep as the one Trump floated in 2016, with the advantage that the liberal bench isn’t as garishly white as a NASCAR infield. Alliance for Justice recently created a Building the Bench initiative to recruit candidates for federal courts. Demand Justice, a group co-founded by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 press secretary Brian Fallon and Obama Supreme Court vetter Christopher Kang, has developed a full list of potential Democratic nominees for the Supreme Court. It’s a diverse list of academics, state attorneys general, and progressive district attorneys, including Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s voting rights project; and Larry Krasner, Philadelphia’s decarceral district attorney. These people should be the stars Democrats put forward as an antidote to what Mitch McConnell has wrought.