Arizona PBS hosts an annual U.S. Supreme Court preview. This year’s term began earlier in October and includes some big cases and a new justice, Amy Coney Barrett.
Our guests for this Supreme Court special are ASU Law Professor Paul Bender and Stephen Montoya, of Montoya, Lucero and Pastor.
The panelists first discussed the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett into the Supreme Court. Bender said that the government should wait to nominate a new judge until after the election in order to avoid preferential treatment of a candidate of a particular political party. Montoya agreed.
“There has to be a way to let the people have more input into these nominations,” Montoya said. “Waiting until after the election I think would advance that purpose.”
Montoya believes that the next set of representatives should decide the nomination over the current Republican Senate and President because this decision “will last for decades.”
Bender and Montoya remarked that Barrett’s nomination would create a Republican majority in the Supreme Court, as six of the judges are conservative.
“I think we should have some balance in the court, and we’re getting the exact opposite,” Montoya said.
Bender believes that this majority will greatly impact the decisions made by the court in the following years.
Bender and Montoya discussed some court cases that are at play in the Supreme Court, ranging from the Affordable Care Act and faith-based adoption agencies to early voting and ballot harvesting in Arizona.
“This is a democracy, this is supposed to be the greatest democracy in the history of the world,” Bender said. “And yet, we have the Congress of the United States and a lot of state legislatures doing everything they can to stop people from voting. It seems very strange.”
Montoya agreed with Bender and added it can be easy for voters to lose their say in the election if they vote at the wrong precinct.