29 October 2020

[Coat]hanging judge

The confirmation of Coathanger Coney to the Supreme Court by Moscow Mitch and his gang was so predictable that saying the Sun will rise in the east seems like a mere wild guess by comparison.  There was nothing the Democrats could have done to stop it.  Republicans remain almost totally unified in their subservience to Trump and McConnell and in their mania to cram the courts with as many wingnuts as possible while the cramming's good -- and no matter how you slice it, 47 votes is fewer than 53.

Since this could not be prevented, it must be undone.  Electoral-Vote suggests a range of options, of which enlarging the Supreme Court is the most-discussed recently and offers the most clear-cut remedy.  Vox and Crooks and Liars make the case.  Democracy itself is at stake.  Republicans will screech that we're "politicizing" the Court, but they themselves have already politicized it beyond repair.  The option of a non-political Supreme Court doesn't exist any more.  The Republicans have taken it off the table, probably forever.  And now they demand that we pretend to not notice they've done that.

If the Court is left as Trump and McConnell have re-made it, then the Republicans -- even after being massively repudiated by the voters -- will be left holding a power base from which they can block all efforts at reform and at repairing the massive damage the last four years have inflicted on the country.  Not only abortion rights and gay marriage but also medicare expansion, economic stimulus, any serious covid-19 response, DC and Puerto Rico statehood, action on climate change, separation of church and state, legislation to end gerrymandering and vote suppression -- all could be doomed at the whim of a Court majority put in place specifically to entrench minority rule and roll back progress.

It would be inexcusable for Democrats to allow this once they gain the power to stop it.  And that's why we, the majority of American voters, will still have work to do after the election.  To enlarge the Court, the House and Senate will need to pass legislation and Biden will need to sign it.  We all know some lawmakers will balk at what they see as radical action.  They will need to hear from us, vociferously and in great numbers, to encourage them to do their duty.  A theme to emphasize:  Don't worry about upsetting your Republican "colleagues".  Worry about upsetting us, your voters, the people who put you where you are and expect you to get this done.

(The same goes for abolishing the filibuster, which is necessary to avoid leaving the Republicans another base from which to block reform, including Court enlargement.)

But before we can tell Democratic legislators how to use their new power, we need to ensure that they get that power in the first place.  We've got six days left to do that.  We need to elect Biden by the largest Electoral and popular-vote landslide possible, to place the result beyond the reach of any Republican shenanigans, and we need to bring in the largest possible Democratic Senate majority, so that things can still get done even if one or two members balk.

Democracy or theocracy, individual freedom or life constrained by ancient religious taboos codified into law -- it's up to us to decide.


Blogger Sixpence Notthewiser said...

The handmaiden zealot made it to SCOTUS. Now they have Lurch, the drunk gambler fratboy rapist and the religious bigot. The party that has not won the popular vote has more judges in SCOTUS than the one that has.
The Dems have to totally correct this travesty. There's no limit of judges written anywhere, right?
Ugh. I hate Moscow Mitch with the strength of ten thousand suns.


29 October, 2020 03:29  
Blogger Annie Asks You said...

I think we’ve seen a necessary radicalization on court reform since the SC rulings on elections—Chris Coons and Cory Booker saying “The Senate is broken,” etc. And Jennifer Rubin had a good column pointing out that Biden’s calling for a commission has already put the court on notice— which I think possibly led to the 5-3 decisions that PA and N.C. can continue counting after the election—though they left a giant loophole that they can revisit. On my blog, there is renewed interest in a post I wrote weeks ago: “This Man Has a Plan to Unpack the Courts.” But we must give Biden time: he’s got a lot to contend with, and the Commission will allow him to keep the issue simmering while he’s saving lives and the economy. Hope everyone’s voted already! If not, in most states, forget about mailboxes and use drop boxes, hand delivery, or vote in person. And don’t forget to sign your mail-in ballot as your name appears on the address to you. Good luck to us all!! Voters Save America!

29 October, 2020 06:14  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

You're damn right we will have alot to get involved with and to push for as voters/ citizens (I'm happy to see the turnout, I heard this year, we had nearly a million newly registered voters in Texas). I would hope that this election, we get a Democrat majority of Senate, Representatives, and Oval Office ... and I don't generally think that way, and I don't hate conservative ideas, voted conservative for many years when I was younger (I'm still conservative when it comes to things like fiscal responsibility, Constitutionalism, etc, been my whole life). But, I feel this is best due to circumstances. Conservatism today seems much different to me, and frankly, for several years now, I've been noticing a strong move towards a mixture of patriotism to a type theocracy, and something that resembles some type of fascism, all governed by neoliberal policy. First place, in our Democracy, we are not supposed to favour/ recognize a particular religion, and incorporate it into government, at that ... this is WHAT is currently happening. The "electoral- vote" link was interesting ... because I wasn't even aware of options like this. Look, I don't hate Barrett ... but she concerns me much ... I like to give anyone the benefit of doubt, that they are not as bad as they're painted sometimes. But I noticed yesterday, how she wouldn't say a peep about ACA and pre- existing conditions, for one ... her excuse is because she hasn't had time to review it ... that's fair I guess, but I doubt she doesn't have a position on this, as she does on a number of other cases/ issues, I think they're telling (powerful conservatives) her to not say a word till after the election. I don't see why anyone, of those in power, would want to eliminate abortion (Hell, it's clearly a necessity) they know folks will get it anywayz (black market) ... but what I think, is they may put so MANY restrictions/ modifications on it, to make it difficult as Hell to do. After all, look at how they are even making voting more and more difficult, and you know there will be some added things as far as going against LGBTQ ... somehow, someway ... I mean, there is still that element of society that believe they're trying to turn all kids queer. Enough from me, good read ....

29 October, 2020 06:34  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Something on abortion a read a couple pieces on below


29 October, 2020 06:55  
Blogger Mike said...

"demand that we pretend to not notice"
Their gall is beyond belief.

"It would be inexcusable for Democrats..."
We had better not hear any Democrats saying anything about playing nice. It's time for the hammer to come down on republicans.

29 October, 2020 10:36  
Blogger Mike said...

Interesting Supreme Court article. https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/10/06/supreme-courteight-justices-425295

29 October, 2020 10:47  
Blogger Kay said...

Oh gosh...
I wonder if McConnell and Graham will be voted out. What are the chances? Sigh...

29 October, 2020 13:37  
Blogger yellowdoggranny said...

we're fucked

29 October, 2020 13:50  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Sixpence: Nothing in the Constitution fixes the number of judges on the Supreme Court. Congress determines that, and Congress can change it.

Annie: This has made it obvious -- as if it wasn't already -- that we're dealing with the equivalent of rabid rottweilers and playing nice is not going to work. I disagree about the commission, though. Enlarging the Court needs to come first (after abolishing the filibuster), so it doesn't just block everything else the Democrats try to do.

Ranch: I think we have a good chance of rousing enough public pressure to get this done. Even people who aren't afraid of theocracy are angry at Moscow Mitch's abuse of the process.

I've heard about the protests in Poland. There, too, people are angry -- and they can see that the Catholic Church is the real source of their problems.

Mike: Some Democrats will naturally be timid. We're going to need to build a fire under them.

Shrinking the Court might be a good idea in some abstract sense, but it won't solve our immediate problem. If anything, it might be best to greatly expand it, say to 20 or 30 judges. That way each individual appointment will be less high-stakes and the political drama every time a new judge needs to be appointed will be reduced.

Kay: There's actually a real chance Harrison could beat Graham. Moscow Mitch still has a substantial lead n the polls, unfortunately.

JackieSue: Not if we refuse to sit still for it.

30 October, 2020 03:07  
Blogger Annie Asks You said...

Re: the Commission—Biden is going to immediately be hit by all kinds of things from Bernie, the Squad, et al. Depending on the composition of the new Senate and House, it may not (I think probably not) be feasible/politically wise to push for the court changes immediately. It would be great if it could be done, but I’m highly skeptical.

30 October, 2020 10:12  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Annie: But the impetus for court reform is going to come from Congress, not Biden, and will be driven by voter pressure. It's anger over the Coney Barrett thing that is driving a lot of the energy on our side right now, and if the SC does something major like overturning Obamacare or Roe between the election and January, that anger and pressure will only increase. If Congress passes legislation expanding the SC, it's inconceivable that Biden will refuse to sign it.

There's not much point in tackling the other stuff before the SC is repaired, given the risk that the SC would just overturn whatever does get passed (see my 3rd paragraph) -- and Warren and Sanders are good enough strategic thinkers to understand that. We can't afford a "wait and see" attitude, we have to address this problem.

30 October, 2020 10:50  

Post a Comment

<< Home