The news in the Ginsberg replacement story is coming fast and furious. Here’s an update focusing on the main deal on Sunday, Judge Barbara Lagoa of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
She’s emerging as the smart money over the admittedly fantastic Amy Coney Barrett. Lagoa is a a Trump appointee who has been on the 11th since 2019. She was confirmed in a very bipartisan manner, which could help her now. She’s a Cuban lass from Hialeah, my old stomping grounds, and has an Ivy law degree, which fellow Ivy Leaguer Trump seems to prefer for his court picks. At 52 she’s also young and would serve a while. She was a pro bono attorney working for the American family on the Elian Gonzalez case in 2000. Lagoa is also a former federal prosecutor.
She was the first Latin woman to serve on the Florida Supreme Court and her roots as a first generation Cuban American, my deal too, make her conservative and suspicious of overweening government.
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What makes her a slightly better move than Barrett politically, they are of similar superior caliber personally and professionally, is that to go after her the Democrats would have to attack a Latin and a Floridian in a general election when they need both of those constituencies to elect their national ticket.
Trump nominates Barbara Lagoa and makes the Democrats go to war against a Hispanic woman from Florida. He wins either way. #RBGRIP
— Dan Gainor (@dangainor) September 19, 2020
In further news, both GOP Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski say they want to wait until after the election to proceed on the court nomination. That leaves Mitt Romney as another probable Senate defector. That would give, assuming no other defections, 50 for the nominee, which is the number they confirmed Kavanaugh with after a vicious fight.
But this is early and McConnell has not quite yet begun the Capitol Hill arm-twisting he can deploy against recalcitrant GOP senators. Also, the two rebels said no confirmation vote, which means they didn’t rule out confirmation hearings. Thus, they could try to split the baby and vote present in protest, but not against a nominee on any senate floor vote. The GOP has to peel away a couple of Democrats to make it a safe play and there are some from Trump states, like Sinema and Jones, who could come over. Other unexpected Democrat support, if it’s Lagoa, could also come from those too scared to vote against a Latin and a woman.
This piece was written by David Kamioner on September 20, 2020. It originally appeared in DrewBerquist.com and is used by permission.
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