In 2016, Mitch McConnell declined to give Judge Merrick Garland even a hearing, much less a vote. According to him at the time it was an election year and “only” nine months before the people could weigh in with their votes. Fast forward to 2020 and here we are with the election less than two months away. We should apply that McConnell Rule again and let the choice of the people make that SCOTUS appointment AFTER the election.
Of course, that is not going to happen. McConnell is already signaling that his rule will not be applied and Trump is indicating an appointment will be made very soon. If the seat is filled in this way and the Senate does fails to stop it, then there is no legal, moral, ethical or political reason for the new Democratic Congress not to reorganize the Supreme Court as it has the power to do. Nine seats are too few for all the important work it does. Fifteen would be more suitable. The Republicans will cry “Foul!” Let them. They threw out the rules and established that it is raw power that counts when Democrats cried “Foul!” in 2016. What goes around, comes around.
As an aside, this rushed appointment looks like a no-win for Trump. If he does not appoint some semi-rabid ideologue, his base will be very unhappy and lose interest in turning out. If he does satisfy them, he will be handing yet another strong issue to the Democrats.