McConnell Exits Senate: Legacy Carved in Supreme Court Bedrock

Mitch McConnell, the longtime Republican Senate leader, is stepping down from his throne after a whopping 17 years. But don’t be fooled, his influence has left an indelible mark on the highest court in the land – the Supreme Court.

Back in 2013, when the Senate Majority Leader was good ol’ Harry Reid, McConnell warned him about the consequences of eliminating the filibuster for judicial nominations. McConnell sure told Reid a thing or two about what would come back to bite him in the, well, you know where. And lo and behold, nearly a year after Reid made that fateful move, McConnell and his Republican posse seized control of the Senate and did away with the carveout for Supreme Court nominations, just as he had warned.

McConnell’s first major power play on the judicial front came when Justice Antonin Scalia passed away, leaving a gaping hole in the Supreme Court. When President Obama trotted out Merrick Garland as his nominee, McConnell wasn’t having any of it. He put the kibosh on giving Garland a hearing or a vote, citing the upcoming election and the divided government. Talk about playing hardball!

Fast forward to 2017, and McConnell got behind President Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch, who waltzed right onto the Supreme Court. And just like that, the court remained a conservative stronghold with a 5-4 majority.

And boy, oh boy, did McConnell keep the hits coming when Brett Kavanaugh, despite facing a barrage of unproven allegations, was ushered onto the court in 2018. But the real kicker came with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2020. McConnell didn’t waste any time, swiftly pushing through Trump’s nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, just weeks before the presidential election.

Boom! Barrett was confirmed, securing a solid 6-3 conservative majority on the high court. Take that, liberal agenda!

Now, fast forward to June 2022, and the Supreme Court dropped a bombshell with its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, essentially overturning Roe v. Wade and letting each state make its own call on abortion laws. And guess who helped get three of those justices on the bench? Yep, you guessed it – McConnell.

This victory was a big win for conservatives, but it seems it may have ruffled a few feathers, as the GOP didn’t fare as well in the 2022 elections. Tough break, but hey, you win some, you lose some, right?

But wait, there’s more! The Supreme Court is gearing up for another potential game-changer with a ruling that could scrap the Chevron doctrine. This legal mumbo jumbo, established in a decision way back in 1984, says that federal agencies can make their own rules as long as they’re “reasonable.” And, you guessed it, McConnell’s influence looms large here, too.

It’s clear as day that McConnell’s legacy continues to cast a long shadow over the judiciary, to the dismay of Democrats and President Joe Biden. The conservative stronghold on the high court can be attributed to McConnell and his cunning maneuvers as the GOP honcho. Just ask House Speaker Mike Johnson, who couldn’t help but sing McConnell’s praises, declaring that “no Member of Congress has played a greater role in reshaping the federal judiciary than Mitch.” Mic drop!

Written by Staff Reports

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