I’m not a lawyer, but I think it’s safe to say the first ruling is disastrous for democracy, and it appears the second will remove a check on the flow of dark money that is corrupting our politics to the core. Here’s how Democracy Docket characterized the stakes in Brnovich v. DNC, the case concerning ballot collection in Arizona:
At a time when minority voting rights are under attack by Republican legislatures around the country, the outcome of this case will either expand or limit the tools available to those fighting voter suppression in court. It could also impact the scope of Section 2’s protections as we enter a crucial redistricting cycle. In short, the stakes could not be higher. A strong Voting Rights Act is necessary to protect minority voters’ right to cast their ballots and have them counted.
Emphasis mine. The Republicans on the court (let’s call them what they are) went with “limit.” Kagan wrote a blistering dissent. The ruling is here in PDF form.
The second ruling struck down a California law requiring disclosure of top donors, handing a win to the Americans for Prosperity Foundation and the Thomas More Law Center. [WaPo] Oh well. At least David Koch is still dead.
And we’ll be stuck with the McConnell judges (both SCOTUS and all the rest in the lower courts) for decades to come.
I am curious: how does one get the Supreme Court to revisit improperly decided decisions? Some of this shit should not stand as precedent.
Do you tailor a lawsuit likely to reach the USSC on narrow points of the disastrous decision?
Last, any sign on Breyer retiring? He must. It’s not about HIM. It’s about us.
SCOTUS conservatives playing the long game.
Not just Republicans but Roman Catholics. Probably Opus Dei.
Ugh. It’s over. But at least the filibuster is preserved!
@Leto: I hope there is a way around that.
Public opinion can develop against bad legislation and bad decisions. The Supremes are political animals, too.
I look forward to the Bidens’ visit to Surfside. A head’s up, please, when that happens.
Rights for dark money? Boo-yah!
Rights for dark people? Not so much.
This looks like a good day to be off the internets.
Although: Weisselberg awaits his arraignment this afternoon, right? The
trumpOrganization is under criminal indictment. More to come.
Searching has stopped for the time being at the Surfside collapse. Possibility the remaining tower section is becoming unstable.
People got through the Great Depression and WW2. We can do it too. Of course, our problem is that the fascism is developing on our own shores, this time. Fight of our lives in progress.
@Elizabelle: The way around it was for Hillary Clinton to win and for RBG to have bought a clue and retired earlier.
But neither happened and now we are really screwed. When we have six Republican Legislators on the Supreme Court who have made it clear they plan on ignoring the law and legislating from the bench there isn’t much we can do.
Here’s something sweet, for distraction. A mama bear and her 2 cubs, and a swimming pool, in British Columbia. One cub is quite the aquatic animal.
It can, but fairly certain this is where they’ll say it’s a “legislative issue” and that’s how to fix it. And we’re trying, but you know, blog favorite 11D chess players Manchin/Sinema/Feinstein are ensuring that we’re stuck in this current situation for however long that may be. Same as Breyer. As much as he wants to hang on to the “above the fray/petty political concerns” viewing of SCOTUS, that’s not reality.
Yup. This place will be an 11-ring circus after 2 p.m. Eastern time. Personally planning to alight elsewhere.
@guachi: Jim the Foolish Literalist can come tell me to fuck myself, TYVM Jim, but one of those events was under personal control.
RBG needed to retire; she screwed the pooch there. I don’t believe McConnell could have gotten away with 2 stolen USSC seats.
I was looking at Supreme Court terms yesterday. In recent years, some of them are a bit over 18 years, but 20 to at most 24 seems to be the sweet spot.
Justices used to retire after 3 years. Imagine that.
Lifetime appointments gotta go.
The indictments will be unsealed at 2pm EST, should know more about it by 3pm EST at the latest.
Armando on Twitter says this ruling is tantamount to scrapping the VRA. I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t know if that’s an exaggeration or not. He is a lawyer, and Kagan’s dissent sure paints a dire picture. Wondering what our resident attorneys think.
@NotMax: Forgive me, what is at 2 pm today?? More than one event??
ETA: Leto answered.
Albeit, big news all over the place today. Nancy Pelosi appointed Liz Cheney to the January 6th Select Committee.
What happens at 2 pm?
The Grand Old White People’s Party knows they are steadily losing political power and their only hope is to re-introduce Jim Crow’s voter suppression. Most white people seem good with this, by evidence of the 2020 elections although admittedly by a slightly lower margin:
“While whites continued to favor the Republican candidate in 2020—as they have in every presidential election since 1968—it is notable that this margin was reduced from 20% to 17% nationally.”
Which I take to be from the fact the core support for the GOWPP are old white bigots who quite naturally are dying off at a faster clip than other groups. However, the reality is our archaic political system means white people will continue to exert vastly greater political power than their number warrant due to their majority in the low population “fly-over” states.
@Elizabelle: If she had retired, the voting rights decision would still have been 5-4 against us instead of 6-3. Trump’s election was the far greater problem. So let’s all move on. I don’t want to talk about her decision ever again.
Excerpt from Kagan’s dissent:
Good for her for calling the court out to its face.
On the bright side, and I always look for it — these whack-ass USSC decisions could help inspire our voters to turn out.
Vote in 2022 and 2024 or give it up, infrequent voters. Shit getting real.
Quick NPR: the charitable contributions disclosure might infringe on [the money’s] free speech rights.
Money is not speech. This is so fucked.
@Baud: Are you replacing Scalia with an Obama justice, too?
FWIW, the disclosure case was a closer ideological call. I think the ACLU and other lefty organizations opposed the California law.
@Elizabelle: No. McConnell would have done what he did regardless.
A-fucking-men to that sentiment, brother.
OK, I will shut the fuck up. That ship has
I do think, however, that it could be an instructive point on which Stephen Fucking Breyer might reflect.
@Elizabelle: I think it’s safe to assume that Cheney signed on at least a week or two ago— likely before the select committee was announced. And, hate to say it, but Darth must be on Pelosi’s side here, and I’m in favor of that.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Elizabelle: as I’ve said repeatedly, the list of people to blame for Ginsberg’s replacement is long, and I wouldn’t put her in the top ten.
We have a difference of opinion. Your expression of it that night was thoroughly, gratuitously and aggressively obnoxious
Seconded. Leave Ruth Alone!
@MattF: Yes, I am good with it.
@debbie: OK. I am out of here. Bye.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: We have a difference of opinion, Jim. I bet you that is a decision that RBG rued throughout her final, desperate months and years. And you told me twice to fuck myself.
So you have much to say about “aggressively obnoxious.” Ciao.
Possible I skimmed over it but haven’t yet seen a single Happy Canada Day.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Elizabelle: If I had the energy and interest I’d go dig up the comment you made that I was responding to.
You shot first.
Don’t start fights you don’t want to get in to.
@Elizabelle: Well, take it up with Breyer, then. I am sure he will give your opinion all due consideration.
@MattF: Statement from Cheney.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@MattF: I’m ambivalent about her being on that committee, but credit where due, she seems to be about the only Republican, even Romney, who gets you can’t fight trump and remain an orthodox Republican, that you have to fight McCarthy and McConnell at the same time.
The Supreme Court is irretrievably broken, both in terms of who is currently there, and the appointment process. The only corrective is expansion, but we need better Democrats than Manchin and Sinema to achieve that.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
I think there was a typo in Kinzinger’s response. I believe the appropriate response is “Fuck him and everybody that looks like him.”
The Moar You Know
@Elizabelle: He very much disagrees and has already said he’s not going to retire. Better keep electing Dems!
Jim, Foolish Literalist
We need to shore up Democracy in America to the point where it doesn’t depend on One People, or a handful of People, to work.
That’s a long-term project. That’s a project where my personal desires, and opinions. might have to be put aside to get Collective Action going. And it’s a project where you might not see a lot of wins for a long, long time, because successful movements for change tend to move slow…until they don’t.
@Elizabelle: In order to make SC term limits happen we have to win bigger congressional majorities that actually last longer than an election cycle. And we have to eliminate dark money. After all it’s the dark money pipeline that delivered this Regressive SC super majority. That happens only if we all vote. It’s not gonna be easy but we must not get discouraged. We have continue to fight.
The culmination of John Roberts life’s work – starting with clerking for Rehnquist the old Arizona Poll pest is on display for all to see. He’s a country club racist bag o shite. I’m going to hate read the decision with a highlighter and red pen and then console myself with the dissent.
What the fuck is wrong with white mostly male America and the slow rolling apartheid on black people? I’m feeling extremely stabby about the Court’s majority and wish each and every fucker the karmic justice and the Pat Robertson’s “Whip Handle.” I’m ashamed and angry and so pissed off I can’t feel my face.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Woodrow/asim: and we have to learn from the Right: It’s a long, slow, bottom-up process. It’s not about “a stroke of a pen” and saying “Why did we bother turning out last November?” in June.
Also their use of language. “Pack the Court!” is dumb slogan and a doomed strategy. Again, bottom up, not top down. “Reform the courts”, and explain how the overworked federal bench slows things down locally.
Well the supreme court just gave the go ahead to buy elections. wahoo
Exactly. We have set bad expectations about change being quick and revolutionary.
The Moar You Know
@MJS: You don’t need better Democrats, you need 75% of the state governments to have Dem governors and legislatures because the only way you’re expanding the Supreme Court is via a constitutional amendment.
If it could have been done any other way FDR would have already done it back in the 1930s.
@The Moar You Know: Uh, no. Expanding the court can be done by statute. FDR failed because an overwhelmingly Dem Congress balked at the idea.
The dissent is well done. I didn’t read the majority opinion, but I read the synopsis, which read like results-oriented garbage.
@laura: my greatest relief is that the chief supreme’s legacy rests on literally shaky foundation.
Is this the guy that lost the primary last time around?
It would be cool to have two Senator Bookers.
@JPL: Alas, that seems more like an admission of reality than a blessing.
@Elizabelle: I don’t buy the “McConnell surely couldn’t have stolen a seat from a LIBERAL SCOTUS retirement!”
Uh huh, so the 2 additional appointments under Trump were… what then? Obama was robbed, and didn’t make a big enough stink about it so there is plenty of blame to go around and frankly RBG is at the bottom of my list. That being said, Breyer needs to announce his retirement as soon as the infrastructure bills get through the Senate so that can be top priority.
“You say you want a revolution” Yes please.
These SCOTUS decisions seem so out of time and place with our diverse nation. We the people will figure it out–asking–demanding to know which corps and rich dudes are funding the troglodytes.
@Woodrow/asim: I’ve been thinking about collective action a lot lately. You’re right — that’s absolutely what’s needed, but we (Americans) seem to have lost the capacity for it, in ways large and small. The pandemic is a macro example, a societal failure to take collective action. Even the FL condo collapse was a collective action problem.
@Paul W.: I don’t think McConnell could have stolen TWO USSC seats at one time. But it is all unknown.
I will not bring this up again. What’s done is done.
In lighter news: Megan McCain is leaving The View. LOL.
@dww44: Yes. I agree wholeheartedly with you.
Exactly. Depending on when one wants to mark the “start” point — Nixon? Reagan? Goldwater? — it was anywhere from a 10-year to 30-year (or longer) project for the Rethugs to get where they are. And, of course, it was more than just the political realm; their years of screamlying about the “L-l-l-l-l-l-l-iberal media” had its desired effect.
I wish there were 100 Stacy Abramses out there, doing what she’s done, across the country. And she/they will need the “human infrastructure” to make it happen.
This is my biggest frustration with the Bernie people. They cannot accept any incremental win – it’s either everything or nothing with them. That’s a recipe for long-term failure. I think about the people who fought for civil rights – that was a long slog, and I’m sure there were many times some of them wanted to give up, but they didn’t. We have to carry on that fight today, even in the face of this Republican court.
We need a 13 member Supreme Court. It won’t happen till we can elect more (and better) Democrats to the Senate. Maine…..what is your excuse for re-electing that miserable failure Susan Collins?
@Elizabelle: Is she giving some right-wing pouty reason for her departure?
I wonder who they’ll get to replace her as the conservative voice.
@kindness: The Dem wasn’t a born and bred Mainer.
I think the libertarians’ singular achievement has been in convincing a lot of non-libertarians to view government and public policy through the lens of a consumer in the marketplace.
@Baud: Sorry, but I will bring it up whenever I think it’s relevant. Ginsburg made a selfish decision that was wrong and is hurting other people to this day. I wasn’t even thinking about that right now, but now I am annoyed again with people saying shut up.
I honestly don’t get the worship of her either. Well I don’t get most fan trends. She was a mostly good admirable person who made a mistake. So did the idiots who wouldn’t bother to vote with Supreme Court appointments in mind. I wish Beyer wasn’t also full of himself. Maybe the conservative justices will make the same mistake and even it out later.
@Baud: Don’t know. She apparently announced it on the show, which I don’t watch. She’s leaving when this season ends at the end of the month.
She had two years left on her contract.
@gvg: Do what you want? I can avoid engaging on topics I don’t want to engage on.
@gvg: Hive mind here on that point. But good to know there’s someone else who can think outside the hive.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
I am already at the mad point where pack the courts sounds great to me.
My head hurts.
The Brnovich decision is bad and will make it VERY difficult to challenge voting restrictions as long as a state waves a “voter fraud!” Smudge stick.
This in spite of the fact that Congress specifically amended Section 2 to allow actions against “discriminatory impact or effect.” That is where the court’s weird comment about not being able to challenge voting rules in place prior to 1982 comes from.
I wonder — seriously — whether what conservatives felt during the Warren Court expansion of constitutional rights is what I am feeling now. I think it is different, because the Court then was expanding constitutional protections, not narrowly interpreting otherwise clear Congressional acts to restrict similar “rights.”
My head hurts.
And I really wish people would stop talking about retirements. Really it is nothing but booing from the cheapest seats.
@Baud: You know, I avoid a LOT of stuff here, Baud. I truly do. My tongue, it is bitten a lot. FIDO. I suspect that is true for a lot of us.
I agree with the Thin Black Duke about not joining in on every argument one is invited to. It must hurt to run around with one’s hair on fire, as some people do.
@Immanentize: Let’s be honest though, no voting rights restrictions were going to be overturned with the current composition of the Supreme Court anyway, and if that composition changes this isn’t going to be binding.
*Applicable only to non-RWMF judges/justices
I can neither grieve nor celebrate that news, as I never watch the show. Once in a long while I’ll see some clickbait thing about Megan having a curse-laden meltdown and I’ll succumb to vulgar curiosity and watch the clip — but otherwise, the news of her departure doesn’t affect me.
Have they said who’s replacing her?
@gvg: I have no problem with that either, but there aren’t enough Senators who would go along with it. I’d really like to see state races emphasized, too – we’re all getting a good look at the shenanigans that can be gotten into at that level.
Face it, these people can create moral outrage for just peeing in the woods.
Mai Naem mobile
@MattF: i don’t think Darth or Liz are on Pelosi’s side. They’re betting on Donnie’s GOP imploding pretty soon and Liz then being in a good spot to run for POTUS, VP like daddy, Wyoming Senate or Speaker of the House.
@Eolirin: I agree and that is a real hope. As one of my friends, in an argument at the Court in a death case, pointed out:
Rhenquist: we closed that door in (another case) didn’t we?
Attorney for Death Row Guy: You may have tried, but you can’t stop us from knocking.
You mean it ain’t you? Damn. How about Anne Laurie or Betty Cracker?. Of course, pretending y’all are conservative might be tough.
@Mai Naem mobile: That sounds right, although blowing up Trumpism might be worth it.
If nominated, I will not accept. If confirmed, I will not serve.
West of the Rockies
I wonder if we’ll soon hear McCain declare that God told her it was time to run against Sinema.
@Immanentize: Several of the right wing justices will continue to “surprise” us by not being awful on all cases, but this is an area where they will all be terrible. I have been around enough Federalist Society types to know that universal suffrage is not something they care about (and many explicitly don’t believe in it).
And if we are going to go on about retirements, I will start complaining about people like Cole who vote GOP long past the point that a decent person should have considered it or people like Betty Cracker who voted for Nader when that was a manifestly crackpot thing to do. If we are going to do counterfactual bitching, let’s have some fun with it.
@Betty Cracker: Eloquent as her dissent is, somehow it just makes matters worse. We are right but we don’t have the power to make it right. This is gonna be a long haul.
Only if the pee-er is a Demon-crap.
If a Rethug: shitting in the (figurative) kitchen is A-OK.
I start with Guy Gabrielson, chair of the GOP in late 1940s and early 1950s. He’s the 1st major GOP figure to reach out to the Dixiecrats:
…but it was the 1st major reach out to White Supremacists I’ve seen documented. It underscores just how long the GOP has been eager for a slice of that White vote.
And keep in mind that the John Birchers are starting up in a few years. We’re already had the HUAC kick-start the Hollywood Blacklist, a fertile training ground for the kinds of rhetoric we are inundated today. And McCarthy is only a couple of years, at the end of Gabrielson’s term, from kick-starting his infamous efforts.
In short, there’s a lot of very nasty stuff “in the air” that various elements in both parties were taking horrific advantage of — but one Party really focused it’s energy on incorporating into not just having some members of the Party using, but in making it a core requirement and weapon for retaining power.
Add in the Evangelicals, kick-starting with my hometown’s racist University getting pissy about the IRS saying that you gotta pay taxes to be racist, and the alliance between Movement Conservativism and Big Business, itself a long simmering piece of blowback from the New Deal, and…well, there’s a lot of foot soldiers and money to start making long term places.
Very long term plans.
And that goes right back to ol’ Guy deciding that the existing loose FDR-era alliance between the Conservative GOP wing and the Dixiecrats might be a neat thing to formalize…Black folx be dammed.
@Elizabelle: On Breyer, EXACTLY. It’s what RBG should have done, too.
Thanks for the history lesson. Had never heard his name before.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
More seriously, even I can’t blame the Democrats’ broad failure to grasp the importance of the courts on the Naderite/Bernistas. It’s older and more widespread than that. But I do think it’s both a cause and a symptom of the spread of the cult-of-the-presidency/top-down approach to politics on the broad Dem side, which is also deeper and more wide-spread than just the purity left.
@Immanentize: Is it okay that I mentioned that Rumsfeld needs company?
@West of the Rockies:
oh shit – I think you just discovered the reason she left. Absolutely she’s probably thinking of doing a run against Sinema.
It’s A-OK if they shit on your pot roast. Plus when you eat it – you’ll blame the Dems for not adding enough salt.
@laura: the majority of people in America don’t have to abide the Supreme Court if it’s outlived it’s usefulness
The temperance movement and God-botherers even got the 18th Amendment, Prohibition. How did that work out for them?
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@cain: My prediction record is bad, and even worse when trying to analyze the Rs, but I can very easily imagine NutMeg being soundly humiliated in a primary. The trump party hates her father, will hate her trust-funder’s lack of self-awareness, and besides that sense of entitlement that is unfortunately only painful to everyone else, she’s really fucking dumb, and thinks she’s really fucking smart.
It would be hilarious if she went full-on Katharine Harris and pledged to empty her trust fund into a losing campaign.
@Omnes Omnibus: no, the six in the majority in Brnovich will never surprise us.
I don’t do counterfactuals well or happily. I am so grateful for the decisions that RBG wrote and participated in for 7 years after men started telling her to get lost. And it was pretty much all white men at the beginning (for like 5 years). Those years included some of my greatest hits!
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
One anecdote I have posted here before: during the 2016 campaign, NPR was interviewing “Democrats” about who they were supporting. One moron said she needed someone to explain why she should vote for Hillary, “but without using the words ‘Donald Trump’ or ‘Supreme Court’. ”
It is/was fortunate, I guess, that technology did not allow me to reach through the radio to grab her by the throat.
@cain: The View is taped in NYC and she didn’t want to uproot her baby. She apparently is happy in DC entertaining and talking to folks about her father’s ghost.
You could be right though.
@MontyTheClipArtMongoose: then we do what the GOP does and sue again- keep pounding on enhanced voter rights until the pressure point hurts
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@SFAW: even after she died and trump and McConnell et al joined hands to dance on her grave, I was hearing and seeing a lot of “Biden needs to give me a reason to vote for him…”
Bob Schooley reacts to the McCain news:
@cain: OMG Twitter has an eight minute goodbye from her. I’d link, but today is depressing enough. Her dad encouraged her to join, btw.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
You never know – we have at least several dumb Rs in congress – so I wouldn’t put it past people to just vote based on the last name and assume competence. It’s what she is banking on.
Also isn’t her husband a well off douchebag?
@Omnes Omnibus: I’m so glad you brought that up because I’ve been procrastinating when there’s a task I really need to focus on, and now I’m happy to shut this tab. But before I do, I will note that the only reason you know about my 2000 vote is because I brought it up in the context of my deep regret for it and to implore people not to make the same stupid mistake I did. Enjoy!
@Omnes Omnibus: I’ll add, in my experience, the greatest non- retirement with the longest shadow was Rhenquist. It is reported that O’Connor went to the CJ when she was considering retiring because of her husband’s worsening Alzheimer’s. She (and everyone else) knew that if Rhenquist died (he was sick with cancer) she would be selected to replace him as CJ. It would have been a big feather in W’s cap for appointing the first woman CJ. Rhenquist assured O’Connor that he was felling much better and was not dead yet and wasn’t going anywhere. So, O’Connor retired.
W was going to appoint a woman, Harriet Meyers, who I knew somewhat from Texas who would have been fine. But the right wing went nutso, she was villified, and withdrew. So Roberts was appt. to replace O’Connor. Then Rhenquist soon died (O’Connor was pissed!) — Roberts was then appointed as Chief and fucking Alito appointed for O’Connor’s old seat. There is ramification for ya….
@JPL: Probably wanted the world to be exposed to what she is capable of.
@Immanentize: I was refer to things like the ACA or some criminal matters. On voting rights and corporate power, they will always be true to form.
@Omnes Omnibus: agree
@JPL: Why should anyone, dead or alive, be left lonesome?
The reason I brought it up in this context is to illustrate the futility of this kind of counterfactual argument.
RBG’s legacy is ACB.
What will Breyer’s legacy be?
@Omnes Omnibus: Well, when Colin Powell testified about yellow cake I believed him.
@Seriously: But it appears that the futility will carry on regardless. I should probably follow Betty Cracker’s lead and fuck off to do something else.
Yourself and a very few other Juicers excepted, this is really where the majority of us are stuck.
J R in WV
@The Moar You Know:
This is incorrect. While it is true that changing the life term of Supreme court justices would take a constitutional amendment, the composition and make-up of the court’s bench is a statutory matter, a “mere” law passed by congress.
So if we could expect all Democratic legislators to vote in favor (we can’t) and to overturn the filibuster (we still can’t!) with regard to the statute, we could make the court membership 13, or 15, both numbers I have seen proposed with varied reasoning behind those two numbers.
So where is Obama’s time machine when we need it?
@raven: Really? C’mon man, no way he made that himself. It had supermarket bakery dept. written all over it.
@Haydnseek: Turns out he didn’t bake it himself, he still served it.
Huh, my understanding was: Harriet Meyers (Miers?) was Bush’s personal lawyer and completely unqualified for the SC. … also the right wing went nutso because she was not an anti-abortion zealot.
A fresh mid-day thread might be in order. Betty’s cute pups must. be doing something. Baxter?? You out there?
@catclub: My recollection was that the Dems were quietly thrilled with the Miers appointment because she would have been far more centrist than what we eventually got. Her nomination was defeated entirely by Republicans.
@raven: Well played! I see my little joke fell as flat as the last cake I tried. I remember his pathetic performance very well. Sometimes you can take being a team player a bit too far.
Sometimes I think our reaction to bad news is worse than the bad news itself.
J R in WV
Personally, I think joining in a Supreme Court decision this far out of line with the beliefs and foundational principles of America — everyone is eligible to vote with equal facility in every election — qualifies a justice for impeachment.
We should impeach every one who voted to overturn the Voting Rights Act, and replace them with justices who understand that voting rights are sacred.
Just my two cents worth of fury.
@Elizabelle: Baxter? You been watching Anchorman again?
@raven: Well played. Seems my little joke fell as flat as the last cake I tried, and yes, I remember his pathetic performance. Sometimes being a team player can be taken just a bit too far. I appreciate that he was in a tough spot. Years after the fact he expressed his disgust regarding his actions that day.
sorry about the double comment. Things got wonky there somehow.
Never give up.
@J R in WV: Sure, when we have 2/3’s of the Senate willing to convict.
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
I will repeat what I’ve said for years – the Supreme Court has long been our worst institution. It’s institutional predisposition is revanchist conservatism and it has long stood in the way of progress on individual rights and economic advances.
The brief period of time that it wasn’t completely shitty (roughly 1954 to the mid 70s, conservatives lost their shit because it wasn’t shitty enough.
The really sad part is that they set the tone of how shitty things are, and the shit rolls downhill, infecting all the other courts.
@Haydnseek: “Powell was charged with investigating a detailed letter by 11th Light Infantry Brigade soldier Tom Glen, which backed up rumored allegations of the My Lai Massacre. He wrote: “In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent.” Later, Powell’s assessment would be described as whitewashing the news of the massacre, and questions would continue to remain undisclosed to the public.”
@raven: Hey, bruh.
@raven: I was referring to his UN presentation justifying our actions in Iraq. Later he said he knew it was bullshit, and regretted ever doing it.
@Haydnseek: Powell has made some terrible unforgiveable mistakes, but he is doing his best to rectify them.
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: I don’t really disagree. The problem is that too many people, lawyers included, grew up in the era of a “good” Supreme Court and think that it is normal. It isn’t.
@germy: I like that. And then: a bunch of Eeyores chime in on twitter.
But I know Biden and Harris take this very, very seriously. As do people who are paying attention.
@catclub: your second part is spot on. Also, Miers (sorry about the missssspppelling)/ may have, as they used to say, batted for the other team.
But the first part just isn’t entirely correct. Yes she was White House Counsel, but before that she had worked in Big Law for almost 30 years, was a really respected productive member of the State Bar and as head of the State Bar supported the ABA’s position of abortion neutrality. That is the period when I had some dealings with her. Of course that is really what sunk her chances.
She was not only qualified in the Constitutional sense, she was way smarter than your average bear and had more real lawyer experience than either Roberts or Alito.
@JPL: He is indeed. He’s been put in terrible situations by people not fit to shine his boots.
@Immanentize: That sounds right to me.
Um, may the conservatives get what is coming to them. Good and hard.
@Elizabelle: from your typing fingers to Gods eyes?
James E Powell
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Agree completely. Thirty odd years of trying to convince Democratic and Democratic leaning independents that “Who will this person appoint to the supreme court and federal courts?” is more important than the personality quirks that the press/media consider paramount. In this respect, I have been a total failure.
@Haydnseek: So was I but it wasn’t the first time.
New Deal democrat
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:
I have come to agree with this (i.e., that the Supreme Court is the worst-designed US institution).
Before the US under the 1789 Constitution, no republic had ever considered having an independent judiciary. The judiciary was always considered part of the executive branch (it enforced decisions on an individual level) and appointed by the executive (see, e.g., medieval Venice), or at least elected concurrently with the executive for a similar term (see: ancient Rome).
The UK in the wake of the Glorious Revolution of 1688 enacted a judiciary appointed for “good behavior” and removable by Parliament, but somehow has managed to escape having the judiciary turn into a Superlegislature.
In the US, it took the tin-eared decision in Dred Scott (in which Taney et al sought to finally and blindingly settle the matter of slavery in favor of the South) to finally provoke the Civil War. Worse still, typical “life tenure” has grown from on average about 7 or 8 years to about 25.
I would be in favor of one Justice appointed each year for a tenure of 9 years, with eligibility for only one more 9 year term but only they complete at term as “justices emeritus” on one of the circuit courts for at least 9 years.
It should also be easier for Congress to adopt a minority opinion signed on to by more than 1/3rd of the Court as the law of the land, if confirmed after the next Congressional election.
James E Powell
Reading the reviews of these decisions affirms that law professors and big shot Ivy League lawyers are just not equipped to deal with hardball politics. It’s why they write Op-Eds that argue that the latest judicial nominee, a Federalist Society hack, is really a very bright jurist of the highest integritude and we liberals should give them a chance.
I’m seeing people who are way smarter than me digging through the wreckage of the Voting Rights Act to find shreds of “not all is lost” when the truth is that this supreme court is telling Republican state legislatures to go ahead do whatever you want. None of them wants to come out and say that John Roberts has been working against the VRA his entire career.
@James E Powell:
I don’t know how smart they are. They said the same thing when Roberts gutted section 5 and they were all completely wrong.
They will defend this institution up to the DAY they can’t vote at all. They have completely lost the point of the exercise. They no longer defend “rights” or “laws”. They defend the Supreme Court. They don’t defend the rule of law, they defend “The Justice Department”.
It’s bonkers. “The Court” doesn’t fucking mean anything without rights. “The Court” isn’t the thing to defend. It’s just nine people. They are replaceable.
@Kay: that’s why we have to abolish it. The court is antithetical To our Democracy full stop. Time to destroy it.
@James E Powell:
It’s as if we had a group of elite physicians and we said “hey, people are dying out here!” and they responded with “The Mayo Clinic has always been considered an excellent facility”
How can you talk to these people? They no longer know what it is they’re defending. They’re defending marble pillars at this point. Architecture.
As always, when Republican electoral prospects are at issue, “moderate” John Roberts votes with the radicals.
Just calling “balls and strikes,” folks, balls and strikes. Somehow, the Right keeps pitching perfect games with 27 Ks.
@James E Powell:
It’s just as regular as rain. The Court issues a shitty opinion and the Fancy Lawyer League rushes to the defense of 9 judges and a courthouse. Every single fucking time they pick the side of the powerful. 100%.
They don’t defend voting, they don’t defend the public, they don’t defend the Voting Rights Act, but they will storm the barricades to defend 9 powerful lawyers and an imposing marble building. That’s who and what they serve.
Quite soon, we are going to get to the point where
(1) we have no way to overturn Republican rule through conventional political channels,
(2) the only constitutional right of political import that we’re guaranteed is the right to carry firearms around, and
(3) the stated rationale is the supposed “right of revolution” in the event of tyranny.
Are we then supposed to connect those dots and act accordingly? Do they think we’re too wimpy to do it?
@Matt McIrvin: actually I think it would be even smarter for the Blue states to start aligning with other great powers for protection ie Greater Canada etc. Remember the red states are economic backwaters…
@Ksmiami: I’m not really that worried about the blue states–blue voters in states with entrenched Republican governments are in much bigger trouble, especially if the feds never have their backs again.
James E Powell
Is it really all about membership in the Fancy Lawyer League? Do the professors do it to get their students prestigious clerkships?
Dead thread, long day. But maybe some of the lawyer types will still see this.
I was surprised by how convincing I found Niko Bowie’s testimony to the White House SCOTUS Review panel (25 page pdf) was. Have any of you folks looked at it? Thoughts?
tl;dr – Judicial review is killing us. 5 guys on the SCOTUS can over-rule a huge majority in Congress, the President, and any of the lower courts. He makes the case that they shouldn’t be able to throw out laws on just their sayso.
https://www.whitehouse.gov/pcscotus/public-meetings/ has more testimony on the subject.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: The court is already packed, it’s time to unpack the court