183

The Democrats were in favour of appointing Garland in 2016, but now that the Republicans have set a precedent that Supreme Court Justices should not be appointed in an election year, the Republicans are being asked to stick to it. The Democrats are simply asking the Republicans to stick to the principles they used four years ago. The Republicans are the ones ...


131

Why are the Republicans being criticized? Because in 2016 they didn't simply say it was party politics as the reason to oppose Obama's choice, nor even that they disagreed with his choice. They chose to portray this as a matter of principle. On principle, they declared that they believed a new Justice should not be appointed in an election year, because it ...


123

The situation is fairly complex so I'm not surprised it was confusing. Here's the general rundown (partially pulled from this article for brevity) Sometime in July, Ford (Kavanaugh's accuser) wrote a letter to Diane Feinstein (D-CA) with her allegation that Kavanaugh had assaulted her sometime around 1982. The letter purportedly requested anonymity and ...


112

If senators can draw out the nomination process long enough, they have a chance of having a Democratic majority in the Senate during the next confirmation. Then Trump would have to nominate somebody that Democrats are happy with.


105

There are a number of reasons why people oppose Barrett, among them: Her stances on political issues: There is a fear that the bodily autonomy of women is under attack (see her stance on Roe v. Wade), as well as the human rights of LGBT+ people (see her stance on the rights of trans people and marriage equality), and that access to health care is in danger (...


87

This is the confluence of a large number of factors, several of which appear in other answers, but I'll focus on just two. Short, vague, and old constitution The United States has one of the shortest (and oldest) written constitutions in the world. It started with less than 5 thousand words and remains under 8 thousand after twenty seven amendments (with ...


82

For those interested in the gory details, please see the full decision in Trump v. Vance. The first half of the linked document contains the Court's majority opinion and the concurring opinion of Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch, followed by the separate dissenting opinions of Justices Thomas and Alito. Based on a quick read, it's apparent that Justice Thomas ...


71

Expanding on Elliot's answer. Even if rushed, there is a process to approving a President's nomination. Nominating and approving another person before the November election would be possible, but it would be tricky to do it that quickly. Could Republicans really get Barrett or another nominee confirmed before then? And if not, could they confirm her in ...


68

I'm not sure what the standard for evidence is (i.e. for references) on this site. If you want to know, here's what I inferred from following the Twitters of a couple of (anti-Trump) American lawyers. The weren't "sexual assault hearings", they were "senate confirmation hearings" Senate procedure has previously (since 2013 and 2017, as explained in detail ...


65

The main reason for this is down to one question: who won the argument in 2016? Because the Republicans had a majority in the Senate in 2016, it was them who decided how Obama's nomination would be handled. The position of the Democrats would not have affected the outcome in any way. Similarly, in 2020, as the Republicans have a majority in the Senate, they ...


59

The founders had two models in particularly in mind: the Ancient Roman Senate, and the UK parliament of Monarch/Lords/Commons. In the UK, the House of Lords functioned as a Supreme Court. The founders wanted to separate the powers of the court from the Upper house, but they still wanted the upper house to have a role in approving justices. The expectation ...


57

It is not possible for Democrats to filibuster the nomination under the current Senate rules, due to Mitch McConnell's use of the 'nuclear option' in 2017 which allowed a nomination debate to be ended by a simple majority vote. In 2013, the Senate voted 52-48 to change the number of votes needed for a successful cloture vote (a vote to end a filibuster) on ...


56

In short: separation of (coequal) powers means the President can't order any such thing of Congress. Congress does as it wills, and the constitution has very little to say about whether it does its jobs in any particular time frame, or even in any particular way. Article 2, Section 3 of the constitution details the two things a President can force Congress ...


55

Most cases never go straight to the Supreme Court; it only has original jurisdiction over a very small subset of cases, as described in the US Constitution. Outside of those areas, they are always heard by at least one other court first before being appealed to the Supreme Court. If there is a tie in the Supreme Court, the ruling of the lower court stands, ...


50

It's worth noting that Obama actually did attempt an end-run around Congress in declaring that pro-forma Senate sessions were, in fact, a "recess" as defined by the Constitution. As such, he made some "recess" appointments to the NLRB. The Supreme Court, 9-0, ruled in NLRB v. Noel Canning that it was unconstitutional for him to do that. We hold that, for ...


50

The Supreme Court has ruled on partisan issues with substantial impact on the country The Civil Rights cases were a group of five cases that said that the Thirteenth Amendment "merely abolishes slavery" and that the Fourteenth Amendment did not grant Congress the authority to regulate private affairs. The result of this was that the Civil Rights ...


48

No. I suggest the best source for this is probably the ruling of the Supreme Court itself. I'd encourage you to read it in full - it's not long and surprisingly readable. The legal argument the Court made starts by establishing that courts have the right to limit the use of the Royal Prerogative (for example, see paragraph 32). It further establishes ...


48

A lame duck President could nominate someone to Supreme Court vacancy, but the Senate may or may not confirm. This happened in 1800 when John Adams lost his re-election. Chief Justice Oliver Elsworth resigned. Adams nominated John Jay (the first Chief Justice who had resigned in 1795 to become Governor of New York.) who was then confirmed by the Senate. Jay ...


47

In Walter L. Nixon v. United States (unrelated to President Richard Nixon), the court held that the judiciary could not review impeachment proceedings. According to the constitution, the House has the "sole power of impeachment" and the Senate has the "sole power to try all impeachments." The Supreme Court considered this sufficient evidence that the framers ...


47

How political parties view things is not necessarily commensurate with reality. After all, they have a political agenda to push. In this case the view of (federal) judges—Supreme Court Justices or otherwise—as dyed-in-the-wool partisans is not really borne out by the reality. The type of 5-4 split decisions that attract so much attention are in fact a ...


46

Functionally, nothing except the regular requirements of passing legislation and nominating justices. Altering the number of judges on the Supreme Court is as simple as passing legislation through the normal channels, as the Constitution is silent on the number of judges on the Court. This was last altered in 1869, when the Judiciary Act of that year set the ...


46

which seems symmetrically inconsistent No, they're not. The Republicans are asking that precedent established by them be disregarded because it benefits them. Democrats are asking that precedent be respected. So it's not symmetric. There is a difference between arguing for A, then arguing for B, versus arguing for (A and B). Suppose your company offers you ...


44

There are several major reasons why various people would oppose her nomination. I'm afraid that no quantitative survey data available, but off the top of the recent news: The procedure. Republicans took a huge criticism on their flip-flopping regarding the very fact of electing a SCOTUS nominee during the last year of presidency — the Republicans introduced ...


42

The reason for the first three increases in the size of the Supreme Court was related to the size of the country's boundaries growing. The decrease in 1866 was, reportedly, more an attempt by the Supreme Court to convince Congress to raise the salaries of the justices. When that failed, the number of justices returned to nearly where it was before. In ...


41

In the UK constitutional system, the Queen is not above the judiciary—she is the judiciary. As Wikipedia notes: The sovereign is deemed the "fount of justice"; although the sovereign does not personally rule in judicial cases, judicial functions are performed in his or her name. For instance, prosecutions are brought on the monarch's behalf, and courts ...


40

First, the House and Senate operate however it is their rules say they operate. They can change how committees are apportioned by simply changing the rules. As-is, the few third party or independent members are such a tiny minority that it is more advantageous for everyone if they simply caucus with the party they find most agreeable. The caucus is what's ...


40

Others have answered about the hypocrisy angle, but I also see another difference this time. In 2016, the Democrats knew that they would face opposition from the Republican Senate. So Obama deliberately chose a moderate candidate, Merrick Garland. He was clearly trying to offer the GOP a compromise by not nominating a far-left justice. But the Republicans ...


38

Senators doing their job the moral benefits of not having an accused sex offender on the Supreme Court. That's not just a moral benefit, that's the senate's job. From senate.gov (emphasis is mine): The Constitution grants unique powers to the Senate, allowing it to serve as the more deliberative legislative body and as a check on the executive and ...


35

In the United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, European Union, and elsewhere, the equivalent of the Supreme Court has power comparable to the one in the United States. This is not actually true: the Supreme Court of the USA can strike down legislation passed by Congress as unconstitutional, whereas the Supreme Court of the UK cannot do the same with primary ...


35

U.S. Constitution, Article III, Section 2, The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, [...] In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible