The battle over the latest Supreme Court vacancy will probably be “much worse” than Justice Brett Kavanaugh‘s grueling confirmation process in 2018, Fox News chief legal correspondent and “Fox News @ Night” host Shannon Bream said Tuesday.
“It [The Kavanaugh confirmation] was a tough thing to cover and to watch senators who had to have, essentially, law enforcement escorts to be able to get to the floor to vote,” Bream told “Fox News Rundown” host Dave Anthony. “You know, people [were] being confronted in public spaces, not feeling safe in their own homes. I mean, these are people on both sides of the aisle because there was a lot of heat generated over that.
“But, there, you know, you were replacing a Republican appointee with [another] Republican appointee,” Bream continued. “As we all know, Justice Ginsburg is an icon of the left. To replace her with someone like Judge [Amy] Coney Barrett or Judge [Allison] Jones Rushing or even Judge [Barbara] Lagoa, I think is going to be so incredibly unacceptable to Democrats.”
President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., hope to quickly fill the vacancy left by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg – but Bream said Democrats will “fight tooth and nail” to block another Republican appointee from joining the high court.
“They don’t have as many procedural options as they would like, and so I think it’s going to be something that is going to be a PR battle,” she said. “But again, for this nominee, whoever she is, it’s going to be an exceptionally difficult time. She’s going to have to think about whether she wants to go through it, whether she wants her family to go through it. I think the only thing that may take a bit of the edge off is if some of this is done remotely [due to the coronavirus pandemic].”
Both Trump and his Democratic presidential opponent Joe Biden have stated that they would nominate a woman to the high court, thereby keeping the male-female ratio of justices at six men and three women.
Coney Barrett, 48, has been on Trump’s list of potential nominees since 2017 and privately met with the president on Monday, Fox News confirmed.
Her confirmation to the federal bench was contentious, with several Democratic senators questioning whether her Catholic faith would influence her legal judgment, especially with respect to the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.
At the time, Coney Barrett expressed her commitment to court precedent and offered to recuse herself in rare cases in which her conscience would not allow her to do so.
“I think for a lot of people who oppose Roe v. Wade, it’s not solely for them on a religious basis,” Bream pointed out. “I think many of them see the legal reasoning was not as strong as it could have been for such a momentous change.
So I think she [Barrett] could be probed on her judicial philosophy, how she feels about precedent and things like Roe v. Wade,” she added. “But I think the religious issue is going to be a really difficult one for Democrats to carefully thread the needle if they decide to go there, because it didn’t play very well last time when she went through the process for them.”
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.