New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg argued Tuesday that retiring Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy is helping President Donald Trump "destroy" America.
Goldberg said Democrats should try to "basically shut down the functioning of the Senate" to stop Trump’s eventual nominee from being confirmed, but admitted they had little hope of pulling that off. Since Democrats are likely to "get run over by this sick juggernaut" in Senate proceedings, Goldberg said the ultimate blame lies with Kennedy for retiring.
"It's really unfair to blame the Democrats," Goldberg said. "I mean, this is Kennedy betraying the country."
Republican strategist Susan Del Percio, who also sparred with Goldberg over Sen. Susan Collins’ (R., Maine) character, told Goldberg not to "demean people" by calling his retirement a betrayal.
"He’s 81 years old and served 30 years, he's not betraying the country," Del Percio said. "We should thank him for his service. Why do you have to demean people in making your point?"
Goldberg said Kennedy abdicated his responsibility to resist Trump and his allies "destroying the country."
"He has an obligation to not let Trump—because they are destroying this country," Goldberg said. "He sat up there [in the Supreme Court] like he was the sole arbiter of justice for all these years, and then when the country needed him most he stepped aside."
Goldberg’s comments came after the panelists discussed with SCOTUSblog's Tom Goldstein how Democrats were unlikely to flip any Republican Senate votes to stop Trump's eventual Court nominee. She said "phony" Susan Collins was unlikely to vote against a nominee without "something extremely egregious" in his or her background.
"Susan Collins is such a phony," she said, without elaborating. "It would have to be something extremely egregious in one of these backgrounds. I mean, I think this is just an example where we're going to get run over by this sick juggernaut."
Del Percio found this uncalled for.
"I think Senator Collins is, has been, a great public servant, and to demean her is just inappropriate at this time," Del Percio told Goldberg.