Two good points; and here is a third:
Unsaid is that pushing a vote before e day could doom some of their already-imperiled incumbents.— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) September 19, 2020
Either way, Rs know what this means for Dem turnout, esp women. Motivated by prospect of a lame duck vote or enraged by a pre-election vote changing the court, they’re coming.
If Mark Kelly, the Democratic nominee for Senate in Arizona, unseats Senator Martha McSally, a Republican who was appointed to her seat and began serving last year, he could be sworn in as early as Nov. 30 — possibly in time to vote on a new Supreme Court nominee, elections experts said.Hypothetically, that would narrow the Republicans’ 53-to-47 majority in the upper chamber, which may become relevant if a vote on a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was delayed until a lame-duck session after the election.The Arizona race is technically a special election. The state’s Republican governor appointed Ms. McSally to the seat after she was defeated by Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat, in a closely contested Senate race in 2018.
So, vote in October, enrage Republicans and further endanger people like Collins (ME) and Gardner (CO) as well as McSally (AZ). Hold off on the vote, and lose one more GOP vote, and rely on the willingness of Gardner or Collins (who may be lame ducks) to come back to D.C. for what will, really, be a very controversial act. Supreme Court justices aren't usually treated like Cabinet Members who can be approved and removed when they embarass the Administration (I know, these days, that's like shaming a whore). Traditionally, Supreme Court Justices are carefully (too carefully, but then we've put too much emphasis on the power of the Court in the past century, but here we are) examined to be sure they are sound and worthy of the highest court and a lifetime appointment (which used to be a fairly short time in the 18th century, but has become decades longer in the 21st century). More and more that means "ideologically sound." In a functioning Senate (i.e., the Senate of the '60's, which passed LBJ's legislation despite the "Dixiecrats") Kavanaugh would have been denied a set just for his outbursts in his hearings. Hearings for a nominees before November 3 will be a circus. Hearings and/or a vote in the lame duck session, likewise. It could take only three Senators of some integrity (and I can see Romney refusing to participate by voting "No") to derail the nomination, even in December.
McConnell may not hold the whip hand he thinks he does; or wishes he did. Besides, this might wake up voters in Texas to turn out Cornyn, who is already urging Trump to put forward a nominee. He's running ads down here about how he found money to pay for the testing of "rape kits" in police laboratories, which supposedly allowed old rape cases to come to trial (no mention of that in the ad). But that was 2011. He doesn't mention that. The aim of the ad, however, is obvious. Now he'll back Trump replacing Notorious RBG with an anti-abortion whacko who might or might not think demons from Mars are raping our women to create liberal dragons? (That's what vetting is for, by the way, and these days it's an easy case to make that we can't rely on ordinary channels to weed out whackos.). Yeah, I think he's giving M.J. Hegar (his opponent) all the ammunition she needs. Democratic turnout is already expected to be big in Texas (Beto is working under the radar on a grassroots effort that may surprise everyone). This could make it bigger.
There could be a lot of lame ducks in the Senate in December. It would only take a couple of them to deny Trump his last prize; especially if he nominates a raving maniac just because he can.
Wheels within wheels here.