All the chips are on the table now
"As everyone knows, I made it clear that my first choice for the Supreme Court will make history as the first African American woman justice."
So Joe Biden promised. Since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, however, Biden has refused to produce a list of Black female judges and scholars whom he would consider for the now-vacant seat.
What is his problem?
Donald Trump had no such reluctance. In 2016, he listed a slew of candidates from among whom he promised to pick his justices. True to his word, Trump elevated federal appellate court judges Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
Since the Kavanaugh confirmation, Judge Amy Coney Barrett has been openly discussed as a potential Trump choice to succeed liberal icon Ginsburg. Why is Biden so reluctant to reveal some highly qualified Black female judges? His refusal suggests that the kind of high court judges that America wants is not the liberals' issue. It is Trump's issue.
The president will announce his choice Saturday, after the mourning period for Ginsburg is over. Mitch McConnell's Senate is expected to confirm the new justice in late October.
With the court's ideological balance at stake, the battle from now to Nov. 3 is thus for all the marbles: control of the House, the Senate, the presidency and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Rarely has there been an election in which the stakes were so high, the ideological gulf so great and the outcome in such doubt.
The polls show Biden ahead, but Democrats are visibly nervous. Of greatest concern -- the possibility that, Tuesday night, Biden, in the first debate, with his verbal and mental lapses occurring frequently now, could kick it all away in front of millions of voters.
On the court issue, Democrats are exhibiting something akin to panic. They are warning that if a conservative jurist like Barrett is confirmed, Democrats may retaliate by "packing" the Supreme Court -- increasing the number of justices from nine to 11 and installing two new liberals -- if they win the presidency and Senate.