Amy Coney Barrett nominated to succeed RBG

Long considered one of President Trump's favourites, Amy Coney Barrett, a staunch Catholic, has been nominated to succeed the liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the US Supreme Court, cementing the conservative majority there. Is politics running roughshod over the judicial system? Things are a little more complicated than that, says Europe's press.

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Die Presse (AT) /

All part of the democratic process

Die Presse finds it legitimate for the Republicans to use their Senate majority to appoint a new judge:

“Over the course of US history, seats on the Supreme Court have several times become vacant in the election year, and the president has always nominated a judge. Each time since 1888 the Senate confirmed the candidate whenever the White House and the Senate were in the hands of the same party. The Democrats' demand that things should be different this time is absurd. It's true that the Republicans refused to confirm Merrick Garland, who was nominated by Obama, in 2016. But that's the way things work in a democracy: he who has the majority has the say.”

Aargauer Zeitung (CH) /

Short-sighted and premature

Appointing a Supreme Court justice so shortly before the elections won't pay off for the Republicans, the Aargauer Zeitung is convinced:

“Once there was a protocol for such appointments which both Democrats and Republicans adhered to. It included thorough clarifications, and that could take time. The fact that the Republicans are no longer sticking to these guidelines comes as no surprise - after all, the unofficial motto in Trump's Washington is that rules are for losers. However it's astonishing how short-sighted this policy is. Almost all polls show that the GOP's ideas are only shared by a minority of the population. ... It's hard to imagine that a majority of American voters will reward the Republicans' power games on November 3.”

The Independent (GB) /

Trump can forget re-election after this move

This nomination is a slap in the face for liberal women, The Independent says:

“Confirming a fierce anti-abortion Justice will do nothing to close the suburban women gap Trump has with Democratic nominee Joe Biden. This could have a similar effect that the pre-midterm confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh had, but with presidential-level turnout. ... In denying the Notorious RBG's dying wish by rushing a new Justice into this vacancy before the election, Republicans may also be denying themselves their Senate majority and putting the nail in President Trump's already dying re-election prospects.”

Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

A little more faith, please

The gloomy predictions about the downfall of liberal America are premature, the Süddeutsche Zeitung's Washington correspondent Hubert Wetzel is convinced:

“The two oldest conservative judges [at the Supreme Court] are in their seventies, meaning that if everything goes well Trump's 6-3 majority could soon become a left-wing 5-4 majority. ... True, Judge Barrett will certainly pass more conservative judgements on the Supreme Court than Judge Ginsburg did. ... But with all due respect to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, pretending that this delicate woman alone saved the US from the imminent Inquisition and the subjugation of all women seems somewhat exaggerated. A little more faith in the resilience of American liberalism would be good.”

De Standaard (BE) /

Cultural struggle will help the Republicans

All too harsh criticism of Barrett's conservative and Christian positions could be counterproductive, De Standaard stresses:

“The Democrats know that they can't prevent Barrett's appointment. Some senators want to boycott the hearings in protest against what they consider to be the accelerated procedure. ... Others, like vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris, are emphasizing how dangerous Barrett's right-wing conservative ideas are. But how far can the Democrats go with their criticism without the Republicans exploiting it to portray them as a godless party? The Republicans have always been able to turn such cultural struggles to their own advantage.”