IT is both legally and morally irrelevant if Ruth Bader Ginsburg expressed a “dying wish” that her replacement on the US Supreme Court be named by a “new President.” Taken literally, this could mean the vacancy is kept open for another four and a half years. I’m willing to accept that Ginsburg said this to her granddaughter, Clara Spera. It wouldn’t be an exceptional confidence for the left-wing standard-bearer to share with her family. Nor a surprising one: after all, Ginsburg liked to be seen as – and was – a Trump hater. Nevertheless, I think it’s far more likely that Spera embellished the purported exchange by characterising as a “dying wish” what was simply a humdrum sentiment expressed at some time during her grand’s lengthy decline (possibly more than once). Posthumous whoppers about what a decedent said or desired at the end – or, as regards a contested will, should have said or desired at the end – are as old as society. Ginsburg’s alleged comment is far less consequential than a will – which, contested or not, is a legal instrument. The late judge’s “wish” is suspiciously convenient hearsay whose ramifications would be non-existent even had it been livestreamed and notorised.
Never ones to let facts stand in the way of an opportunity for Democrats, the media has seized on this fake news story in order to prepare the public for a nomination assault that will likely exceed for infamy and criminality the terrorism unleashed against Brett Kavanaugh by Christine Blasey Ford in late 2018. Now vanished into total obscurity (legally, the safest place to be following the collapse of her comical rape charges), Ford was treated by a majority of journalists as a credible heroine rather than what she really was: a scatterbrained sociopath and a political prostitute-for-hire. In 2019, Time named Ford in its 100 Most Influential People list. Prospective Vice-President Kamala Harris – now chaperoning Joe Biden through a farcical ‘campaign’ for the Oval Office – wrote the oddball magazine’s mendacious entry. Of course, nobody in the White House Press Corps has asked Harris if Tara Reade should also be lionised for her “courage” and “unfathomable sacrifice.” That’s because the pressmen are not in journalism to embarrass Democrats but to protect them at any cost.
While it’s true the Trump-enraged media is not embarrassed by reality – think “mostly peaceful” – journalists are sufficiently irritated by it to concoct weekly misdirections whose unchanging purpose is to rendition it. One minute, the truth is walking down the street – obvious for all to see – the next it’s being bundled into a van and rushed away to a secure location. For example, the ABC uses AP copy to obscure inconvenient legal facts about Justice Ginsburg’s dubious “wish” to instead parse President Trump’s mischievous suggestion that it may have been composed by others. “Providing no evidence,” the report sniffily cautions, “Mr Trump indicated… Adam Schiff, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were behind the statement.” First, does one even need evidence for an ‘indication’? Second: Ms Spera’s statement was a flat-out claim, one being used to indefinitely delay a Supreme Court nomination; the President, by contrast, had simply pointed out there was as much established provenance for the one as there was for the other. Which is – by the way – the best and fairest journalistic approach to the story.
On the respect customarily afforded by Presidents to solemn whims: in a 2012 interview, Justice Antonin Scalia said he would prefer Judge Frank H. Easterbrook of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to be “his” successor. Just 23 days after Scalia’s funeral in February 2016, Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland.