This is a terrible time for an opening on the court

First, I pray for God’s blessings and comfort upon the family of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She fought a long, hard and brave fight not only to stay alive, but to stay at her post, doing her duty. I honor her, and I feel for her loved ones.

After that, I pray for the country. Because this is an awful time to be having a big fight over a Supreme Court vacancy. I’m sorry for the country’s sake that we’ve lost Justice Ginsburg. But I’d be saying that, and feeling that, if it were Justice Roberts, Thomas, Breyer, Alito, Sotomayor, Kagan, or, yes, Gorsuch or Kavanaugh.1920px-Ruth_Bader_Ginsburg_2016_portrait

We just do not need this now. Our attention needs to be on saving our country, by electing Joe Biden to replace Donald J. Trump.

Joe Biden is the candidate of the things that unite us. That’s what he’s about, and what he appeals to. Donald Trump is precisely the opposite. He has based everything he is, politically, on the things that divide us. He needs us to be at each other’s throats.

And of course, nothing divides us like a battle over a Supreme Court seat. On that we can rely, and it has been thus ever since 1973.

This is why he so absurdly released a list of potential court nominees last week. We all ignored him, because it’s hard to imagine much that he could have done that would be less relevant — last week. He and his supporters were so upset that they didn’t get to provoke Biden into putting out a list, so we could all have a great, big fight over the lists — a huge, divisive fight over something that might happen next year, or the year after or the year after.

Of course, the stage was fully set for this to be horrible even without Trump in the White House. Even before that great misfortune befell us, we had learned that Mitch McConnell was a man without a conscience, a man with absolutely no sense of duty or responsibility to his country. For him, all that matters is his party and its ideology.

His refusal to even consider a qualified nominee put forward by the president of the United States — his clear responsibility under our Constitution — was one of the most shocking, nakedly unprincipled things I had seen in our politics for many a year. We’ve put it out of mind with the multiple daily outrages of the current president. We’ve gotten used to thinking, several times a day, “Is it all falling apart? Can someone actually do these things to the country with impunity?” But at the time of what McConnell did, those were fairly new questions to be asking ourselves.

And now, it’s hitting the country with full force, right in the face. If there was a single GOP loyalist out there who sincerely believed that it was a matter of principle for McConnell not to consider a nominee only eight months before a presidential election, that fool now knows what he is.

Oh, for those of you who don’t know who I am writing this: What I say is not about Merrick Garland. To me, there’s not a great deal of difference between a Garland and, say, a Gorsuch. Both were, as far as we could see on the surface, qualified nominees. They both deserved the same careful, deliberate courtesy from the Senate. (Oh, and for those who really don’t know me — if it’s about where a nominee stands on abortion, I’m on the pro-life side. But it’s not about that, to me. It’s about qualified justices deliberating and deciding difficult issues based on the law — not us deciding it all for them ahead of time. If we do that, we’re betraying the Constitution. No, I don’t think the Court was right on Roe, or on Griswold. But I don’t think ideologically stacking the Court is the answer. Both sides trying to do that has driven us to this moment.)

If McConnell had a ghost of a point in his favor in 2016, it would have been that a Senate nomination should not be rushed.

But we’re assured that, while it’s unlikely that the Senate would do the deed before the election, it seems clear that McConnell intends to see to it that a lame-duck Senate confirms the nominee of Donald J. Trump. Even if Trump has lost the election, and McConnell has lost his majority.

Of course, we don’t know what’s going to happen in the election. But we now know that the bitterest warriors of left and right are going be be charging out onto the field, and that everything just got uglier…

164 thoughts on “This is a terrible time for an opening on the court

    1. Barry

      TRUMP says he WANTS federal courts to intervene in the election. Conservatives stay silent.

      Why? Because they are getting what they want if the court system injects itself into the election.

      “We’re going to have a victory on November 3rd the likes of which you’ve never seen,” Trump said at a rally in Fayetteville, N.C., on Saturday night. “Now, we’re counting on the FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM to make it so that we can actually have an evening where we know who wins, not where the votes are going to be counted a week later or two weeks later.”

      Reply
  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    Oh, remember when Lindsey Graham was a sane human being?

    Or if you never thought he was, remember when that stupid Brad Warthen guy thought so?

    Well, this was one of the big reasons why. Lindsey used to stand up against the insanity that has befallen the country’s process of choosing judges.

    He said “Elections have consequences,” and voted for Democratic nominees — not because they were his ideological allies, but because they had been duly appointed by a president of the United States, and they were qualified.

    He also helped lead bipartisan coalitions to try to impose some reason and order on the process.

    These were honorable and unfortunately rare things for a senator to do, and I admired him for it.

    That’s why that stupid Brad Warthen said such things.

    At least the first reaction from Lindsey was the sort of thing we used to expect. I don’t know what will be coming from him next, but I assure you I’m dreading it:

    Reply
  2. Brad Warthen

    Nothing else has worked for Trump.

    He tried calling Joe a socialist, but of course we all shrugged it off.

    He tried painting Joe as mentally deficient. But coming from Trump, that’s laughable.

    He tried the law and order thing, but that just hasn’t been working.

    Now he’s got this. A big, ugly fight over the Court. And this is the kind of thing that can help him keep some of the swing states he won in 2016, if played right. He’s not gonna let this go.

    Reply
    1. bud

      Check the polling in FL. Many Latinos are buying in to the socialist nonsense. The plan was to accuse ANY Democrat of being a socialist. Seems like a couple of ads showing Trump laughing with the Russians in the White House or crossing into North Korea for a photo op with Kim should shut this down.

      Reply
  3. Barry

    Of course Justice Ginsburg was a “trailblazer”. She blazed a trail that was in direct opposition to many of the beliefs of Conservatives and folks like Lindsey Graham.

    Reply
  4. Barry

    Speaking of McConnell, I read an article tonight while I sat outside and watched a movie on our backyard movie theater about one of McConnell‘s daughters who herself is a liberal opposed to almost everything her father has fought for over the years.

    From what I understand, all his children oppose his views. That has to be an interesting family.

    The article also mentioned several other republican leaders whose adult children have taken active roles against their politics.

    Reply
  5. Barry

    Does this mean Trump thinks his supporters are racist since he thinks he has to talk up the confederacy to his cult members?

    Trump Says Confederate General Robert E. Lee ‘Would Have Won”

    “Robert E. Lee, whether you like him or not, he won many battles in a row,” Trump said Friday. “He would have won except for Gettysburg.” – President Donald Trump at Minnesota cult member rally Friday Sept 18, 2020.

    https://www.newsweek.com/trump-says-confederate-general-robert-e-lee-would-have-won-except-gettysburg-1532765

    “The Gamecocks would have won a lot more football games in 2019 if they hadn’t lost.” – John Miller, former Trump spokesman.

    Reply
  6. Barry

    I fully expect Republicans to try to cram through a nominee regardless. if that does happen I will 100% support all Democratic efforts to pack the court and increase the number of liberal justices on the court should Biden win or whenever the next Democratic president wins.

    I will also fully support democrats changing the rules in the senate to a simple majority in all situations.

    for too long now the conservative minority in the country has ruled over the more liberal majority (democrats members of Congress represent millions more Americans than Republicans do). So it’s time for democrats to pack the courts to ensure equal representation no matter the cost.

    Reply
    1. Bryan Caskey

      I think it would also accomplish your goal to just eliminate the Senate entirely, right?

      I mean, that way you don’t have states like Rhode Island with the same power as states like Florida.

      Side item: Maybe making the Supreme Court so important that when one seat is vacated everyone goes berserk is a sign we’ve ceded too much power to that branch.

      Reply
      1. Barry

        No. The Senate would lead by adding justices to the court. So they are needed.

        The court is obviously a central part of American life regardless of how much power is ceded. They take/claim it regardless.

        The court is just another partisan group. It’s time they were treated that way and democrats must add numbers ASAP.

        Reply
        1. Bryan Caskey

          Ok, but what partisan issues are we resolving by expanding the court and adding judges the Democrats like? Is it just abortion?

          Reply
          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            No. We don’t need to expand the court. The last thing we need is more nominees to fight over.

            All we need to do is act fairly and rationally in choosing qualified justices without regard to ideology.

            The fundamental idea in having in independent judiciary is NOT having the political branches trying to determine the outcomes of cases in advance.

            Why is this so difficult for people to embrace?

            Reply
            1. Bryan Caskey

              If only we could get the Supreme Court out of the issue of abortion, there would be so much less concern over who the justices are.

              Reply
                1. A Deceased Supreme Court Justice

                  “As long as this Court thought (and the people thought) that we Justices were doing essentially lawyers’ work up here–reading text and discerning our society’s traditional understanding of that text–the public pretty much left us alone. Texts and traditions are facts to study, not convictions to demonstrate about. But if in reality our process of constitutional adjudication consists primarily of making value judgments…then a free and intelligent people’s attitude towards us can be expected to be (ought to be) quite different.

                  The people know that their value judgments are quite as good as those taught in any law school–maybe better. If, indeed, the ‘liberties’ protected by the Constitution are, as the Court says, undefined and unbounded, then the people should demonstrate, to protest that we do not implement their values instead of ours. Not only that, but confirmation hearings for new Justices should deteriorate into question and answer sessions in which Senators go through a list of their constituents’ most favored and most disfavored alleged constitutional rights, and seek the nominee’s commitment to support or oppose them.

                  Value judgments, after all, should be voted on, not dictated; and if our Constitution has somehow accidentally committed them to the Supreme Court, at least we can have a sort of plebiscite each time a new nominee to that body is put forward.”

                2. Ken

                  More reductionist caricatures — from both of you.
                  As if Roe were the only thing of concern when it comes to the makeup of the court and setting that aside would calm the waters forever. Like the guy says: “Malarkey!”

                3. Bryan Caskey

                  Step One: Lose a Senate Majority over a series of many free and fair elections over the course of a decade. (The Democrats had over 60 Senate seats just ten years ago.)

                  Step Two: Suffer the consequences of not controlling the Senate Majority, including the confirmation of Supreme Court Justices.

                  Step Three: Scream the entire process is illegitimate, and threaten to pack the Court.

                1. Barry

                  “ Yes, Barry, that is ludicrous.”

                  Says the GUY who wants to limit a woman’s choice with her pregnancy and place it into the hands of politicians.

                  Nah, your Position is ludicrous

                2. bud

                  Deciding how I have my heart disease treated has absolutely nothing to do with whether I will allow another individual to live. The comparison makes no sense…
                  -Brad

                  What do you mean by “allow”? How do you stop women from getting a medical procedure on her body? Imprisonment? A fine? This extremely important question is central to the anti choice debate. Yet it NEVER gets addressed. NEVER. Until you actually specify how you intend to force women to carry a fetus to full term then you are really just not making any sense and net to stop with the meaningless platitudes.

              1. Barry

                “ If only we could get the Supreme Court out of the issue of abortion, there would be so much less concern over who the justices are.”

                Quit passing laws to limit the rights of women.

                Reply
                1. Bryan Caskey

                  Overturning Roe wouldn’t limit the rights of anyone. It would simply end the idea that the Constitution requires abortion on demand.

                2. Barry

                  Said just like a privileged, white, attorney. Thanks for playing.

                  Actually, it would allow states that so choose to ban abortion services as they see fit, which of course would only make it harder for poor women (which would impact minority women the most) to have abortion services.

                  Other women would still seek abortion services at will, even if in many cases it would require them to travel to other states.

                  And of course the issue would still not be resolved because future courts would largely reinstate the legal foundations supporting Roe as cases came along.

                3. Bryan Caskey

                  “Actually, it would allow states that so choose to ban abortion services as they see fit, which of course would only make it harder for poor women (which would impact minority women the most) to have abortion services.

                  Other women would still seek abortion services at will, even if in many cases it would require them to travel to other states.”

                  Federalism. That’s how it works. People could vote for their state officials to either allow abortion or to prohibit it. Different states would come to different resolutions. Laws would be different from state to state – like how it is now any almost ever controversial issue at the state level.

                  “And of course the issue would still not be resolved because future courts would largely reinstate the legal foundations supporting Roe as cases came along.”

                  Eh, not if the Supreme Court overturns Roe

                4. Barry

                  I realize you are in support of limiting the rights of women based on where they live. Of course it could be catastrophic for poor women.

                  It’s one reason I find you to be immoral.

                  “ Eh, not if the Supreme Court overturns Roe”

                  As we all know, the SCOTUS can make different rulings at different times. One court overturning Roe could decide a future case differently which would have the impact of reinstating similar protections in the future, depending on the case.

                5. Bryan Caskey

                  The States may, if they wish, permit abortion on demand, but the Constitution does not require them to do so. The permissibility of abortion, and the limitations upon it, can be resolved like most important questions in our country: by citizens trying to persuade one another and then voting. Where reasonable people disagree the government can adopt one position or the other.

                6. Brad Warthen Post author

                  Barry, you find the idea of people not having abortions — or of favoring allowing elected representatives to decide how the law deals with the matter — to be immoral? In what sense?

                  I realize folks who take the choice position have managed to justify it to themselves, morally and otherwise. But I seldom — if ever — hear the argument advanced that people who see it as a legislative rather than judicial matter are “immoral.” You certain that’s the word you mean to use?

                7. Barry

                  “would simply end the idea that the Constitution requires abortion on demand.”

                  To correct you, Roe didn’t create the idea that the constitution requires abortion on demand.

                  Conservatives created that false idea, not Roe.

                  Lying doesn’t help you. Or maybe it does, but it doesn’t help you here.

                8. Barry

                  “ The States may, if they wish, permit abortion on demand, but the Constitution does not require them to do so.”

                  As I have said, your wish to limit the rights of women, especially poor women, in parts of our country are noted.

                9. Barry

                  Barry, you find the idea of people not having abortions — or of favoring allowing elected representatives to decide how the law deals with the matter — to be immoral? In what sense?

                  YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                  Something as serious as medical care for a woman doesn’t get “a vote” to me Brad.

                  When someone advocates that women won’t have final say over their own pregnancy and body based on where they live, that is an immoral action.

                  Such a system guarantees that the poorest women in a society will not be able to access the full medical services related to their pregnancy that another woman with means will be able to access – based solely on where they live.

                  I believe anyone that advocates for such a thing is immoral.

                10. Brad Warthen Post author

                  As usual, the subject gets changed.

                  We’re talking about whether an unborn child gets to live or not, and the subject changes to “medical care for a woman.” Like we were talking cancer or heart disease or something.

                  Makes it hard to have a conversation…

                11. Barry

                  “ I realize folks who take the choice position have managed to justify it to themselves, ”

                  Let me correct you.

                  I don’t want any woman to Have to choose to have an abortion. As the father of 3, I know what fatherhood means. But I also have a family situation that I experienced where I know things don’t always go as planned, and the results can be tragic.

                  So I prefer women to make the decision versus politicians, especially given the FACT of how many of those same politicians have advocated for their own mistress girlfriends to get abortions. Hypocrites.

                  For you see, I see you As the one having to justify it to yourself. After all, anyone that CHOOSES to place Pregnancy related medical care decisions and services in the hands of politicians should also be checking with them when they have to seek medical care for their own family members For heart disease,strokes, cancer, various surgeries, etc. Ludicrous, right?

                  Of course it is.

                  Let women make up their own minds and control their own medical decisions. They don’t need the help of politicians.

                  Work/urge/counsel/encourage/plead with them as hard as you can to help them make the choice you want them to make. But don’t pass a law to prohibit them from seeking the care they desire when your arguments fail to change their mind.

                  After all, women with money will ALWAYS be able to choose for themselves. Poor women won’t and advocating for such a system is immoral.

                12. Brad Warthen Post author

                  Yes, Barry, that is ludicrous.

                  Deciding how I have my heart disease treated has absolutely nothing to do with whether I will allow another individual to live. The comparison makes no sense…

                13. Barry

                  It makes sense. It’s immoral.

                  Listen, I don’t expect to change your mind – like you will never change mine.

                  You don’t get the right to tell my wife or daughter what to do with a pregnancy. I realize you don’t understand that. It’s no less true. You’ll never have that right with me because I have the means to go anywhere or do anything.

                14. Barry

                  “ As usual, the subject gets changed.

                  We’re talking about whether an unborn child gets to live or not, and the subject changes to “medical care for a woman.” Like we were talking cancer or heart disease or something.”

                  No one changed the subject. Everything doesn’t line up nearly in your perfect world Brad.
                  The agony of ending a wanted late-term pregnancy: three women speak out

                  https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/apr/18/late-term-abortion-experience-donald-trump

                15. Barry

                  Sorry Brad. You want politicians to make these decisions. I want women to make them. That will never change.

                  In 1995, I was thrilled to be pregnant. I adored my two daughters. I very much wanted to add a third baby to my family. I was devastated when an early sonogram revealed my fetus had no heartbeat. I was told I would miscarry. By then I’d had two miscarriages. I thought I knew what I was in for — I was so wrong.

                  Even after a month, the bleeding, interspersed with agonizing cramps, had not stopped. I was exhausted and probably anemic. I’d just wanted it to be over. Then I’d feel overwhelmed with guilt for resenting a being who would never get a chance to live.

                  At the 40-day point, I was running a serious fever, cycling between hot flashes and chills so intense that my bones felt like they had turned to ice. That was when I had to make a choice: toughing it out until stillbirth, risking my fertility and life, or undergoing a procedure that would let me stick around to raise my daughters and have a healthy son in two years.

                  The right-to-life people do not mention that some aborted fetuses are already dead. There are many things they don’t mention. They make it sound like the abortion issue is a black-and-white, good-versus-evil narrative. All unborn babies have a right to life. Pregnancy is a gift from God with a mandate not to terminate it. Not surprisingly, there is a stigma against women like me who don’t follow this mandate. Women can go for decades afraid to reveal this secret, even to intimate friends.

                  My abortion probably saved my life. I want other women to have access to this safe medical procedure and not have to turn in desperation to back alley butchers.

                  One in three women will have an abortion. Could one of us be someone you love?

                  One woman, a working mother of a toddler, faced a situation a lot like mine. “The pregnancy that I terminated was very much wanted and planned. But at 16 weeks, an ultrasound showed that there was not enough amniotic fluid. I spent the next couple of weeks on bedrest, but to no avail. By 19 weeks there was basically no amniotic fluid. No amniotic fluid means no lung development. Even if I carried that fetus to term, there’s no way she could have ever breathed on her own.”

                  Stephanie is a married minister with three stepchildren. “Both pregnancies were the result of rape. In both instances I was in such denial about what had happened and about the potential for pregnancy that I did not seek medical attention until it was almost too late to make a decision about what was going to be happening to my body and to my life. I chose abortion over suicide. Twice.”

                16. Bryan Caskey

                  “In 1995, I was thrilled to be pregnant. I adored my two daughters. I very much wanted to add a third baby to my family. I was devastated when an early sonogram revealed my fetus had no heartbeat. I was told I would miscarry. By then I’d had two miscarriages. I thought I knew what I was in for — I was so wrong.

                  “Even after a month, the bleeding, interspersed with agonizing cramps, had not stopped. I was exhausted and probably anemic. I’d just wanted it to be over. Then I’d feel overwhelmed with guilt for resenting a being who would never get a chance to live.

                  At the 40-day point, I was running a serious fever, cycling between hot flashes and chills so intense that my bones felt like they had turned to ice. That was when I had to make a choice: toughing it out until stillbirth, risking my fertility and life, or undergoing a procedure that would let me stick around to raise my daughters and have a healthy son in two years.”

                  What’s your point? Are you saying that if a law prohibiting abortion on demand carved out an exception for the above-situation that you would support it?

                  If you still wouldn’t support such a law, then what’s your point?

                17. Barry

                  “ What’s your point? Are you saying that if a law prohibiting abortion on demand carved out an exception for the above-situation that you would support it?”

                  My point is simple, even for you.

                  Every situation is different. Every pregnancy is different. My dad’s sister lost a child at 24 weeks 30 years ago. I‘ve heard her story many times. I won’t go into the awful details here but I’m glad it was her choice to make, not a politicians, not Brad Warthen’s or Bryan Caskey’s. Thank God you didn’t get a choice.

                  Even after her terrible, life damaging situation, she was called terrible names by those “God fearing, pro life” folks. Bunch of lousy hypocrites.

                  1) would I support such a law? The question is spurious.

                  A) I wouldn’t support any law that allows politicians to choose what a woman can do with her body related to her health, her own pregnancy.

                  B) I don’t trust politicians and government bureaucrats – especially conservative ones- to keep their word, especially as it relates to a woman’s health. Conservatives and pro lifers have long been neck deep in women’s health care from abortion to what birth control they take. It’s their magnificent obsession.

                  C) Many pro lifers and large pro life organizations are on record that they will NEVER accept ANY exceptions to abortion bans. They want the government involved. So why would anyone ever compromise with them or even try to seek any sort of middle ground? They wouldn’t.

                18. Bryan Caskey

                  I think you’ve made yourself quite clear. You would never compromise on this issue in any way, so the only law you would support is essentially a law that says: “Any woman may have any abortion on demand for any reason at any point up until the baby is outside of her body.

                  Or am I limiting your position too much? For instance, can a mother have the procedure after the delivery? I’m really just trying to figure out what the limiting principle is with you on this issue.

                19. Barry

                  No, I guess I wasn’t “clear” since you asked me

                  “ I’m really just trying to figure out what the limiting principle is with you on this issue.”

                  I’ll say the same thing I’ve already said several times: the choice of an abortion should be up to a woman and her doctor, not politicians. Any limit should be up to the woman and her doctor/medical team, not you or politicians.

                  99% of late term abortions are to save the life of the mother. The fantasy, promoted by conservatives, that women are out there getting late term abortions for the heck of it is ridiculous

                20. Brad Warthen Post author

                  “the choice of an abortion should be up to a woman and her doctor, not politicians.” But why? No other issues of life and death are determined by the decisions of individuals. We have due process. I’m opposed to capital punishment, but in its defense, at least it’s decided by strict rules, with juries and judges.

                  The individual involved — the most interested person, such as a crime victim or family member — doesn’t get to decide. We have dispassionate processes for that.

                  Why would it be different with abortion?

                  Yeah, I know — the claim is that the unborn child isn’t a human, and has no moral claim on us.

                  That is at best a HIGHLY arguable claim, and huge edifices are built upon it.

                  I mean, let’s say we decide that sometimes an abortion is necessary — under circumstances less dire than danger to the mother’s life. Would this be a rational and ethical way to make such decisions — having the most interested party have sole power of decision-making? It certainly wouldn’t be if we were talking about anything else…

                21. Barry

                  Brad wrote, “ “the choice of an abortion should be up to a woman and her doctor, not politicians.” But why? No other issues of life and death are determined by the decisions of individuals. We have due process. ”

                  If my Wife (or me) is at the doctor talking about a medical procedure that impacts health, I don’t EVER consider “due process.” It doesn’t apply.

                  I don’t consult “brad Warthen.” I don’t consult politicians and what those hypocrites think. I don’t care what anyone else thinks on such issues.

                  Why would a pregnant woman, faced with health concerns or other concerns have to face some notion of due process, or meet some politician’s moral standard for her health care?

                  I also noticed you failed to respond to the obvious: NO LAW will stop abortion. It never has, and never will. A woman who has decided to end a pregnancy already faces severe pushback in today’s world for a legal procedure. They are called terrible names, ridiculed, and insulted for years on end in some circles. Yet many go through with it because they are desperate.

                  All pro lifers will ever do is make it much harder on POOR women to get a medical service or procedure done easily and safely. It won’t stop them from doing it and women with means will access abortion services as they always have, and always will.

                  Of course women that seek such a service are finding it easier to simply take a medication at home to achieve the same result. As medicine advances in this area (as it is doing), this will become even more common.

                  That is until pro lifers find a way to criminalize this action, which of course will just drive the service underground.

                22. Barry

                  Brad wrote “ I mean, let’s say we decide that sometimes an abortion is necessary — under circumstances less dire than danger to the mother’s life. Would this be a rational and ethical way to make such decisions — having the most interested party have sole power of decision-making? It certainly wouldn’t be if we were talking about anything else…”

                  We are from different planets Brad.

                  YES, the most interested party, the woman, should make the decision Brad since it is her body, her uterus, her reproductive system.

                  Does that bother you for some reason?

                  When I am at the doctor, I make decisions based on what my doctor tells me. But I can promise you, I make the decision. I don’t consult with you, or a politician.

                  When my wife had our 3 children, I didn’t consider what Lindsey Graham had said about it or what SC law said about her healthcare. I certainly didn’t call the general public to weigh in on our medical choices that impacted my wife’s body. Maybe you sought out public opinion, I certainly didn’t.

                  We made decisions after getting medical advice, not moral advice or political advice.

                  I see this issue in terms of health care for a woman. You clearly don’t. We disagree. No shock there.

                  I also see this issue in terms of freedom, and the fact that passing a law will never stop women from having abortions.

                  However, It will do a great job of denying poor women access to the same options of middle class and well off women, which of course will impact minority women at high rates.

              2. Barry

                “ If only we could get the Supreme Court out of the issue of abortion, there would be so much less concern over who the justices are.”

                Your level hypocrisy is off the charts high.

                Reply
            2. Barry

              “ No. We don’t need to expand the court. The last thing we need is more nominees to fight over.”

              You are wrong.

              We won’t fight over them with a democratic senate majority.

              Expanding the court to a minimum of 11 justices (Id support more) should occur if there is a Biden presidency.

              Reply
            3. Barry

              Good news. democrats are likely to add justices to the court.

              “If the GOP goes forward with trying to fill the seat this year regardless of the election result, I think there is a substantial likelihood (at least 50% or more) that the Democrats will respond with court-packing, the next time they get a chance to do so,” George Mason University law professor Ilya Somin said via e-mail.”

              If Republicans Confirm New Justice, Scholars Say Democratic Court Packing Is Possible

              https://www.npr.org/sections/death-of-ruth-bader-ginsburg/2020/09/20/915048049/if-republicans-confirm-new-justice-scholars-say-democratic-court-packing-is-poss

              Reply
              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                Oh, yeah, that makes enormous sense. One side takes the court to 12, so they can add three of their own while they have majority.

                Then the next time the other gang has a majority, they expand it to 20. They just HAVE TO, they explain, because of what the first gang did.

                Next thing you know, the court is about the size of the House of Representatives, and still growing…

                Reply
                1. Barry

                  12 would be foolish. 11, 13, or 15 would be more ideal.

                  Yes, the court could grown in size or diminish in size. Big deal.

                  The only thing worse is that the court is dominated by conservatives who represent a minority of the country.

                2. Brad Warthen Post author

                  Of course, if the court is going to continue to legislate, perhaps it SHOULD be the size of a legislative body.

                  By the way, I’m not entirely blaming the courts or the court-packers for this state of affairs. Legislative bodies’ dysfunction — their inability to work together to pass legislation — has led to this as much as anything…

                3. Brad Warthen Post author

                  And of course, matters such as abortion should be decided by legislative bodies rather than the court.

                  I say that, and I mean it. But I dread it.

                  As horrible as it is to have such fights over every Supreme Court justice — and consequently to actually elect presidents according to the kind of justices we thing they’ll nominate (which, given the scope of the job of president, is particularly insane) — imagine having every state legislature spending ALL of its time fighting over abortion. Which is what we’d have.

                  And that’s because of the way we’ve framed the issue, in terms of absolute rights — to life, and to “choice.” This makes adherents on both sides want to fight to their last drop of energy.

                  Which is not conducive to a deliberative process…

                4. Bryan Caskey

                  Good news, bad news:

                  The good news is once we can get enough conservatives on the court, they’ll go back to the original intent of not having the court intrude so much where it doesn’t belong.

                  The bad news is that if liberals want to legislate, they’ll have to go through…the legislature.

                5. Ken

                  “once we can get enough conservatives on the court, they’ll go back to the original intent of not having the court intrude so much where it doesn’t belong.”

                  HAHAHAHAHAHA!
                  That’s a real knee-slapper!

                6. Barry

                  “ The good news is once we can get enough conservatives on the court, they’ll go back to the original intent of not having the court intrude so much where it doesn’t belong.”

                  Except where they inject themselves and rule legislation by democrats as unconstitutional

                  Hypocrites.

                  Nah, that’s not going to happen IF Democrats win the senate and presidency. It’s past time to add justices to the court.

                7. Barry

                  Bryan’s side is so hypocritical, they can’t see past their own long noses

                  Conservatives love judicial restraint like they love financial responsibility and balanced Federal budgets.
                  (In other words, they are hypocrites)

                  “We’re going to have a victory on November 3rd the likes of which you’ve never seen,” Trump said at a rally in Fayetteville, N.C., on Saturday night. “Now, we’re counting on the FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM to make it so that we can actually have an evening where we know who wins” – Donald Trump.

                8. Barry

                  Bryan wrote “ The bad news is that if liberals want to legislate, they’ll have to go through…the legislature.”

                  Nonsense.

                  It doesn’t matter. Conservative judges don’t care if something went through the Congress.

                  Congress has tried to pass various forms of campaign finance reform for more than 40 years, but every time the conservatives on the Supreme Court step in to hobble it.

                  Congress tried to renew the Voting Rights Act, but the Supreme Court killed it—almost literally for no reason except that they were tired of it.

                  Heck, a conservative majority even elected a president in 2000.

                9. Brad Warthen Post author

                  No, the voters elected Bush in 2000. It was really, really close, but it was the voters.

                  And how on EARTH can it be “nonsense” to have the legislative branch do the legislating? It’s the one and only logical approach.

                  And of course, it’s the Court’s job, when such a case comes before it, to decide whether said legislation is Constitutional.

                  We have a system, with clear roles set out. The rule of laws and not of men. Only in the kind of autocratic country that Trump wants the U.S. to be do leaders simply do what they want…

                10. Ken

                  “No, the voters elected Bush in 2000. It was really, really close, but it was the voters.” – BW

                  Um, actually, no. The VOTERS elected Gore, by a roughly half million vote margin. The ELECTORS — with a little help from the Supreme Court — elected Bush.

                11. Brad Warthen Post author

                  We had the Electoral College back then, too. Ask Bud, he’ll tell you.

                  So yeah, it was the voters. As the coalition of news organizations found by doing recounts, several different ways, months after Al conceded. It didn’t get much play, but as I recall, they did it four different ways (in deference to all the debate there had been on HOW to count). Al actually won one of the ways, but not the one that the Gore camp had advocated.

                  I think it made the front page of something I usually didn’t read — I’m thinking USA Today. Beyond that, not much play. I tried to find it a few years back, for the blog, without success…

                12. Barry

                  brad wrote “ No, the voters elected Bush in 2000. It was really, really close, but it was the voters.”

                  You mean when the SCOTUS voted to override the Florida Supreme Court’s decision to ordering immediate manual recounts of all ballots in the state where no vote for president had been machine-recorded?

                  Sorry Brad, you are wrong again.

                  The conservative majority of the SCOTUS injected itself into Florida and overrode the Florida Supreme Court ( a Florida Court that was not handing an election to gore in the first place)

                13. Ken

                  “as I recall, they did it four different ways (in deference to all the debate there had been on HOW to count). Al actually won one”

                  Yeah, but I’m not talking about those 500+ votes more that Bush may have gotten in FL. I’m talking about the roughly half million more Gore got nationwide. I know you discount that. But I don’t. And there we stand.

                14. Brad Warthen Post author

                  I don’t discount it at all.

                  But an election was held, and according to the rules everyone went into the game understanding, Bush won.

                  I look at elections that way. I look at baseball that way. You play by the rules you have, not the rules you’d like to have.

                  I know a lot of people who wanted Al and Joe to win don’t like that.

                  As I said the other day, we ended up endorsing Bush (even though I had fought hard to endorse McCain in the primary and lost, we didn’t have a big fight over the general). But I wasn’t what you’d call enthusiastic for W, and I liked Al. I had liked him since we had known each other in Tennessee in the 80s (although my esteem for him was slightly diminished during the Clinton years, much as George H.W. Bush, whom I had liked the late 70s, fell a bit in my estimation during the Reagan years). And I’m a big Joe Lieberman fan.

                  So I remember going through election night, watching the apparent lead go back and forth, and not being sure which way I really wanted to see it end up. I couldn’t tell even myself, for sure, which one I really wanted to see win. Which was unusual for me. I can’t think of another presidential election quite like that.

                  I’ll tell you one thing, though: I really appreciate Al standing up and conceding when it was over (and it WAS over). I’m sure that was hard for him, but he did it for the country. And it cemented the same ambivalence I’d felt on election night: I was sure that I’d have been just as happy if Al had been the winner.

                  But he wasn’t…

            4. bud

              All we need to do is act fairly and rationally in choosing qualified justices without regard to ideology
              -Brad

              Good god dude. You are just hopelessly naive on this. Of course that’s what we SHOULD do. But the Republicans have demolished ANY hope for that. This is war now. Let’s stop this crap of stating impossible dreams. Your pal Lindsey had guaranteed those days are loooooong over.

              Reply
            5. Barry

              Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) suggested as much tweeting: “It is going to be very hard after the procedural violence that Mitch McConnell has inflicted on the Senate and the country for anyone to justify us playing it soft next year just to satisfy pundits. We must use the power that voters give us to deliver the change we are promising.”

              Likewise, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) tweeted that if McConnell seeks to fill the seat then “when Democrats control the Senate in the next Congress, we must abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court.”

              “Traditionally, the Court has been seen as a counter-majoritarian check, whereas the electoral process is geared to majoritarian rule. However, the power of the Senate — and the control it gives to less populated states — has skewed power into the hands of a minority of the population. Some on the left have argued that the Senate’s emphasis on federalism has come at the expense of majoritarian rule.

              In short, our electoral system has enabled a minority of the population to rule, rather than the majority — or even a plurality. “

              – Robert Alexander is a professor of political science and founding director of the Institute for Civics and Public Policy at Ohio Northern University. He is also the author of “Representation and the Electoral College.” Follow him on Twitter: @onuprof. David B. Cohen is a professor of political science and interim director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at The University of Akron.

              https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/21/opinions/gop-scotus-mcconnell-alexander-cohen/index.html

              Reply
              1. Bryan Caskey

                “Some on the left have argued that the Senate’s emphasis on federalism has come at the expense of majoritarian rule.”

                Yes, that’s the entire point of the Senate. I would sorta hope that, Ed Markey, as an actual Senator would know that.

                Reply
                1. Barry

                  That wasn’t a Markey quote. Your confused.

                  Markey simply is calling for the Democrats to abolish the filibuster which I think is a given and add more justices to the court should they take control.

                  “Traditionally, the Court has been seen as a counter-majoritarian check, whereas the electoral process is geared to majoritarian rule. However, the power of the Senate — and the control it gives to less populated states — has skewed power into the hands of a minority of the population. Some on the left have argued that the Senate’s emphasis on federalism has come at the expense of majoritarian rule.

                  In short, our electoral system has enabled a minority of the population to rule, rather than the majority — or even a plurality. “

                  – Robert Alexander
                  – David Cohen

                2. Bryan Caskey

                  Ah, I stand corrected. Robert Alexander and David Cohen are the ones who don’t understand the whole point of the Senate, then. (Whoever they are.)

                3. randle

                  The point of the Senate is not to grossly overrepresent small states at the expense of large states, which is what is happening now. When the Constitution was written and the convention arrived at the Great Compromise of 1787, the population ratio of large states, like Virginia, to smaller states, like Rhode Island, was about 10 to 1. Today, the ratio between some states is about 100 to 1. A voter in Wyoming, the least populous state, has 67 times more voting power than a voter in California, the most populous state. As convention attendees Hamilton, Madison and Benjamin Franklin were all in favor of election by popular vote, the country is founded on the principle of representative government and our bicameral legislature was arrived at in the spirit of compromise between large and small states, not because of any imagined fear of the “tyranny of the majority” (which was never mentioned at the Constitutional Convention that I can find), it is unlikely that this is what they intended federalism or their new nation to look like ever. But then they expected their future countrymen would have the common sense to make changes to the
                  Constitution when needed to reflect a changing country.

                4. randle

                  Well, if you want Senate representation to be less skewed and still adhere to the idea of equal sufferage among the states, then, yes, amend the Constitution to reflect that.

                5. bud

                  Basically federalism is a cockamamie scheme dreamed up by a dumbass who foolishly got himself killed in a duel more than 200 years ago. I suggest we move on from that obsolete, failed philosophy.

                6. Brad Warthen Post author

                  “Dumbass?” Wow, Bud, you REALLY need to read Chernow’s book.

                  Fritz Hollings recommended it to me long ago. I’ll recommend it to you.

                  Were Fritz still with us, I’m pretty sure he’d tell you that one thing Hamilton was not was dumb…

                7. Bryan Caskey

                  What is your proposal, exactly? I already know that in the USB (the United States of Bud) there is no electoral college and we have a popular vote for President. What about the Senate? Is that institution of equal representation of states going to hang around and let Rhode Island have equal power as California?

                  What else does the USB look like?

                  I’m simply asking so that after the Democratic party takes power and the Red Guards come around, I’ll know what to say to avoid the re-education camps.

                8. Barry

                  “ Ah, I stand corrected. Robert Alexander and David Cohen are the ones who don’t understand the whole point of the Senate, then. (Whoever they are.)”

                  I already posted information on “whoever they are”

                  You clearly aren’t much for detail of any kind.

                  I think they understand it much better than you do. At least their ideas make sense. That’s more than I can say for you.

                9. randle

                  Hamilton and Madison were no fans of how the Senate was apportioned.
                  Hamilton wrote:

                  “The right of equal suffrage among the States is another exceptionable part of the Confederation. Every idea of proportion and every rule of fair representation conspire to condemn a principle, which gives to Rhode Island an equal weight in the scale of power with Massachusetts, or Connecticut, or New York; and to Delaware an equal voice in the national deliberations with Pennsylvania, or Virginia, or North Carolina. Its operation contradicts the fundamental maxim of republican government, which requires that the sense of the majority should prevail. Sophistry may reply, that sovereigns are equal, and that a majority of the votes of the States will be a majority of confederated America. But this kind of logical legerdemain will never counteract the plain suggestions of justice and common-sense. It may happen that this majority of States is a small minority of the people of America; and two thirds of the people of America could not long be persuaded, upon the credit of artificial distinctions and syllogistic subtleties, to submit their interests to the management and disposal of one third. The larger States would after a while revolt from the idea of receiving the law from the smaller.”

                  And here we are.

                10. Bryan Caskey

                  Well, we have the Constitution now. I’m not sure what you’re quoting from, but it sounds like Hamilton was arguing against equal representation only, rather than what we have now.

                  Like I said, good luck with persuading smaller-populated states to give up their Senators. Which states do you suppose will agree to this? Here are the top least populous states. Which ones are going to agree to give up their Senators?

                  1. Wyoming
                  2. Vermont
                  3. North Dakota
                  4. Alaska
                  5. South Dakota
                  6. Delaware
                  7. Montana
                  8. Rhode Island
                  9. New Hampshire
                  10. Maine

                11. Ken

                  Federalist 22: “the sense of the majority should prevail.”
                  That’s the core of the section here quoted — which BC conveniently chooses to evade.

                12. Bryan Caskey

                  Federalist 22 is a critique of the Articles of Confederation, is it not? Having a pure equal representation among each state was how the Articles of Confederation set up the government. Each state got one vote in the Congress.

                  He was addressing how the Constitution, in an improvement, balanced the equal representation of states with a Senate and the representation of the people with a House.

                  Federalist 22 is an argument against the Articles of Confederation and in support of the Constitution. I think you’re going to have a hard time arguing anything from The Federalist Papers is an argument against the Constitution, since it was precisely the opposite.

                  Again, I think y’all should just really come out and admit you want the Senate abolished. That’s what you’re advocating for.

                13. randle

                  If you reread Federalist 22, you will see that Hamilton is criticizing the concept of each state having an equal voice in a governing body, regardless of population (in this case, the Articles of Confederation; at the convention, the proposed composition of the Senate). We know he and the founders did not like apportioning the Senate this way, but compromised to placate the smaller states. He uses the same argument here that he and Madison used during the convention to attack the proposed Senate arrangement. He did not view it as an improvement, as it was simply carrying over an arrangement he despised.
                  He asked the convention: “As states are a collection of individual men, which ought we to respect most, the rights of the people composing them, or the artificial beings resulting from the composition? Nothing could be more preposterous or absurd than to sacrifice the former to the latter.”
                  Just because I point out that the Senate is now out of whack and needs an adjustment, doesn’t mean I want to abolish it. When you have a problem, you fix it. I don’t imagine small states would give up their outsized influence and federal largesse willingly. But I do know we are a smart country, have a strong foundation and should be able find a solution to the current problem that is palatable and more in line with our representative democracy or republic. All sorts of solutions have already been proposed for your consideration. You can google them.

              2. Brad Warthen Post author

                “We must use the power that voters give us to deliver the change we are promising.”

                Yeah, that’s what got us in the fix we’re in. And you see it at play in what McConnell’s doing.

                For years, Republicans kept getting elected, and not doing the things that their base wanted — closing the border, magically reducing spending without cutting Social Security or the military — in some cases because doing those things would be crazy, in other cases because they were impossible.

                This led to some really bad stuff, as the base tried to replace those Republicans with ones who were crazy enough to really, really TRY to do that stuff.

                So you got the Tea Party. And then later, when that didn’t work, we went to full crazy with Trump.

                I like lawmakers who get elected, participate in debate, and go through a process in which their views are tempered by reality, and by broader understanding. They become smarter. They realized things they didn’t realize before. Trumpistas call that “being corrupted by the swamp.” I call it gaining wisdom…

                People on the right — and left, as Schatz expressed — hate that…

                Reply
                1. Barry

                  “ Yeah, that’s what got us in the fix we’re in. And you see it at play in what McConnell’s doing.”

                  Brad, Democrats can’t allow republicans to play the game alone. They have to right fire with fire. It’s PAST time they did. It seems to be the only thing conservatives respect- fighting fire with fire.

                  Expecting the guy who breaks into your house to listen to you talk him down and then give you a hug doesn’t work. You just end up bleeding on the floor while he loads up his truck with your stuff in your driveway.

                2. bud

                  People on the right — and left, as Schatz expressed — hate that…

                  And there it is! The king of false equivalency strikes again.

                3. Brad Warthen Post author

                  No, bud, there’s nothing at all false about it. The comment was based on a quote from a Democrat.

                  What would have been false, demonstrably and obviously so under those circumstances, would have been to claim that it was somehow a Republican problem alone.

                  Had I done so, y’all would have been justified in laughing me out of the virtual room…

                4. Barry

                  YES!!!!!! Expand the court.

                  Love seeing more like this. It’s coming.

                  Democrats have a secret weapon to thwart a rapid Ginsburg replacement. They should use it

                  If Republicans insist on replacing Ginsburg before a new president is in place, Democrats should vow to expand the court should they win the Senate and White House.

                  https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-09-18/op-ed-democrats-have-a-secret-weapon-to-thwart-a-rapid-ginsburg-replacement-they-should-use-it

                5. Bryan Caskey

                  Filling a vacancy is normal. Packing the court is abnormal. Republicans are promising to do what must ultimately be done. Democrats are campaigning on something that will blow up the legitimacy of the court.

                6. Barry

                  “One way for Democrats to make clear they will not tolerate Republicans trying to fill this seat in advance of the election would be for them to pledge that, if they take the White House and Senate in November, they will increase the size of the Supreme Court to 13 justices.

                  The number of justices on the court is set by federal law, not the Constitution.”

                  Erwin Chemerinsky is dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law

                  https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-09-18/op-ed-democrats-have-a-secret-weapon-to-thwart-a-rapid-ginsburg-replacement-they-should-use-it

                7. Barry

                  “ Filling a vacancy is normal. Packing the court is abnormal. Republicans are promising to do what must ultimately be done. Democrats are campaigning on something that will blow up the legitimacy of the court.”

                  Incorrect. I distinctly remember conservative messiahs like Tom cotton and the leader of your party talking about how terrible it would be to fill a vacancy in an election year.

                  Shall I provide the well worn quotes for even you?

                  Packing the court is the price you’ll pay
                  Abnormal? Sure. Trump? Abnormal. Trump Worship? Abnormal.

                  These are abnormal times. What you are going to realize is that abnormal works both ways- and is the new normal.

                  There is no way Democrats and the majority of voters in the country that vote for them should consider living under a system that packs a court full of a conservative majority in a country that is CLEARLY not a conservative majority.

                  But the first issue at hand is winning the senate and presidency. Adding justices is the next logical, and wise, step. No other option is permissible.

                8. Barry

                  “Filling a vacancy is normal. Packing the court is abnormal. Republicans are promising to do what must ultimately be done. Democrats are campaigning on something that will blow up the legitimacy of the court.”

                  Here is abnormal for you- and of course these so called “conservatives” stay silent because you all belong to a cult. Hypocrites.

                  “We’re going to have a victory on November 3rd the likes of which you’ve never seen,” Trump said at a rally in Fayetteville, N.C., on Saturday night. “Now, we’re counting on the FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM to make it so that we can actually have an evening where we know who wins, not where the votes are going to be counted a week later or two weeks later.” Donald Trump

          2. Barry

            “Ok, but what partisan issues are we resolving by expanding the court and adding judges the Democrats like? Is it just abortion?”

            No

            Campaign finance (Corporations are people too)
            Gun restrictions (everyone should pack heat 100% of the time)
            Who can discriminate against other Americans legally (thanks to the conservative majority religious people can now do that)

            Reply
            1. Bryan Caskey

              “Campaign finance (Corporations are people too)” – Ha. Are you saying corporations shouldn’t have constitutional protections?

              “Gun restrictions (everyone should pack heat 100% of the time)” – LOL. Is that the law? I was not aware of that.

              “Who can discriminate against other Americans legally (thanks to the conservative majority religious people can now do that)” – Huh? What?

              Reply
              1. Barry

                “ Ha. Are you saying corporations shouldn’t have constitutional protections?”

                Bryan, is that what you think said? Are your reading skills that pathetic?

                Reply
              2. bud

                Corporations are NOT people.
                The constitution does NOT grant any right for individuals to own guns
                Poor people Will be discriminated against if Roe is overturned.

                Conservatism is such a soul sucking, bleak depressing philosophy. Thankfully I’ll never adhere to such a worldview.

                Reply
                1. Barry

                  Think of this fact too. Our country is in a whole bunch of trouble.

                  “ Trump’s two previous Supreme Court appointees, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, also share a dubious distinction. They are the only members of the Supreme Court in history to be nominated by a president who lost the popular vote and confirmed by a bloc of senators who represent less than half of the country. If Trump fills the Ginsburg seat, fully one-third of the Court will be controlled by judges with no democratic legitimacy.”

                2. Barry

                  “ Conservatism is such a soul sucking, bleak depressing philosophy. Thankfully I’ll never adhere to such a worldview.”

                  I agree, and I regretfully use to describe myself as one.

                  The best thing I’ve done in the last 3 years is end friendships with several friends that prided themselves on their devotion to “conservatism.” I’m sad to say I overlooked their crap for too long.

                  One last straw was while eating lunch with a former friend he started with disgusting comments against LGBT people and LGBT rights. He was parroting vile conservative talking points. I made the decision then I was done with him. I haven’t talked to him in 3 years. Haven’t regretted it for a second.

                3. Ken

                  Conservative governing philosophy in today’s America is guided by the motto:

                  “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

                  This is one of the core reasons why I do not and cannot embrace contemporary conservatism.

  7. randle

    Regarding swing states and all states, I think the people who are unhappiest with the prospect of the GOP and President Trump selecting the next Supreme Court justice will be the ones who turn out in greater numbers in this election, including those who don’t like Biden’s moderation and were planning on sitting this out. Anger is a great motivator. It’s not just Roe; health care, voting rights, gerrymandering, climate change, regulatory power, LGBT rights, gun control, immigration, etc. are at stake because of the Supreme
    Court’s outsized importance.

    Reply
  8. bud

    Definition of dumbass from wiktionary:

    A stupid or foolish person.

    Brad is notorious for cherry picking that part of a word definition to suit his argument. Clearly Hamilton was foolish to accede to a duel. You could defend this by suggesting the customs of the day dictated this was the honorable thing to do. So if we acknowledge that the customs and norms of the early 19th century should not be used to support our actions today shouldn’t we also not use those standards when it comes to the application of our voting system today? While I tip my hat to Bryan for his considerable knowledge of the Federalist papers I strongly suggest that we revisit any absolute adherence to these ancient documents. Just like we would never return to the practice of dueling so too should we reject the failed institutions that create a stranglehold of a tiny, mostly white and Christian, minority over the more numerous and diverse majority. Are there practical impediments to achieving these important changes? Of course. But the necessary first step is to recognize that these changes are good for the country.

    Reply
  9. Bryan Caskey

    So far, the liberal commentators on this blog have called for:

    1. Eliminating the electoral college;
    2. Eliminating the equal state representation of the Senate;
    3. Packing the Court; and, (as a kicker)
    4. Denigrating the founding fathers.

    Now, that may be what the majority of the commentariat here thinks, and truly believes furthers the best interests of the country. However, y’all aren’t in the mainstream of anything, and you’re going to be pulling Biden further and further left, which hurts his chances at getting elected.

    Now, I’m no Trump fan. I didn’t vote for him in 2016, and I don’t plan to this time around, either. However, the more you agitate for the things above, the more you’re going to lose the middle ground. There are very, very few people who are on your side with these positions who are undecided.

    Trump is a crazy person. The trick is not letting him drive you crazy, too.

    Reply
    1. Barry

      Trump is crazy- and he’s the unquestioned leader of your party and the cult messiah of almost every conservative in a political position in the country. They bow to his wishes like cowards.

      You act as if you can separate conservatism from Trump, as if his craziness isn’t responsible for public policy that has been swallowed whole by conservatives.

      Adding justices to the court will likely happen should a SCOTUS nominee be confirmed by conservatives.

      Of course Biden and democrats will need to win the senate. If that doesn’t happen in 2020, it will be even more likely in 2024 after SCOTUS conservatives dominate And run over everyone else for 4 years in a country as diverse as the United States.

      As usual, I think you are wrong. As the country becomes more and more diverse, you’ll lose more than you win. That’s a good thing.

      We already can predict the conservative court will throw out the ACA (which of course was implemented by Congress- so much for conservatives deferring to the “people’s elected representatives)

      Will a conservative dominated court overturn marriage equality creating violence in the country?

      Will a conservative court make rulings that disregards the rights of LGBT people?

      Will a conservative court allow laws that are designed to make it harder for black people to vote?

      “They could even undo marriage equality, even though it would take an enormous lift to do that, it’s conceivable that could happen, or hollow that out too, restrict it as much as possible and leave it to the states or something of that sort.”

      Voting rights could also be under threat, Tobias warned.

      “As there’s a shrinking majority of old white people who support the Republican party, this will be the way they extend their power and that’s a real concern for many people.”

      Carl Tobias, Williams chair in law at the University of Richmond in Virginia

      Reply
    2. Barry

      “ Now, I’m no Trump fan. I didn’t vote for him in 2016, and I don’t plan to this time around, either. However, the more you agitate for the things above, the more you’re going to lose the middle ground.”

      Your ridiculous, intellectually dishonest argument is noted.

      In other words, Democrats better play the middle ground and be completely fair. We conservatives will slam it down your throat, run to the right, and never look back while we kiss the backside of a buffoon.

      Hypocrites.

      Reply
    3. bud

      1. A large majority of Americans want the winner of the popular vote to be the winner of the election.
      2. There is nothing sacrosanct about how we elect senators. 2 senators for a state, WY, with the population of Greenville County is ridiculous. Most Americans would be on board with reform to that absurdity.
      3. Packing the court. Again nothing sacrosanct here. Elections have consequences. Republicans and Republicans alone are responsible if this comes to pass.
      4. No one is denigrating the founding fathers. Rather it’s important to show they are humans, with flaws, and not gods. I suggest you’re treating them with an infallibility that is not warranted. Most Americans don’t worship the founding fathers and are open to necessary reform.

      Reply
      1. Barry

        I often wonder what many African Americans think when they hear some white guy, especially a white lawyer or white right wing talk show host venerating (as they so often do) the founding feathers as if they were almost God like.

        My brother in law is black and I’ve talked to him a little about it, but not in great detail. I have noticed he certainly doesn’t hold political historical figures in any high regard like many white men – especially southern white men- seem to do. It seems obvious why that is but I’ve honestly never dug deep with him about it.

        Reply
      2. bud

        2. Rather than change the constitution to change the way senators are elected perhaps we could simply add 2 new states – DC and PR. It’s about time these places are fully represented in Congress.

        Reply
        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          But 50 is such a nice, round number.

          I’ve thought that ever since we added Alaska and Hawaii when I was a kid. So much more complete-seeming than 48.

          How would the stars be arranged with 51 or 52? There might be a great, symmetrical way — I’m no designer — but I don’t see it right away.

          OK, I looked it up. Not bad, with 51… The barrier in my brain is the instinct to have all rows have the same number, which isn’t necessary…

          Of course, that’s not my objection to D.C. being a state. The whole point was to put the government somewhere that was NOT a state. Someplace neutral. If it were a state, we’d need to come up with some other place to put our capital. At least, I’d want to.

          Puerto Rico, on the other hand, makes sense. It’s a lot closer than Hawaii…

          Reply
          1. Ken

            Please provide an example from any democracy in the world of a national government being improperly influenced by the state or province in which that capital is located.

            Reply
            1. Barry

              Good point Ken. That supposed “concern” is laughable.

              After all, the very idea that our esteemed elected officials would be influenced by “a state” is incomprehensible. How DARE someone even suggest such a thing. LOL.

              Heck, how would “a state” even find time to influence our respected officials when they spend all their time in prayer surrounded by thousands of industry lobbyists and young, attractive employees.

              Reply
            2. Brad Warthen Post author

              That would be tough, since I’m not thinking of another country that was formed by 13 sovereign states banding together to form something like the U.S.

              There’s the E.U. I guess, but that’s not really the same…

              Reply
              1. Ken

                Sounds like you’d be good at providing Republicans with “rationale” why the situation was so unique in 2016 and so different in 2020 with respect to Supreme Court nominations.

                Really, though, the neutral territory argument against DC statehood may have been reasonable in the late 18th century. Not so much anymore. There are better, more compelling arguments than that. But those are what you went with.

                Reply
                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  Yep. I tend to go with the reason something is the way it is.

                  If it’s not a good reason, I can be talked into going with something else. But I’ve always thought that is a good reason.

                  Phillip Bush raised this issue today on Twitter, and Bryan Caskey offered a solution to the problem that residents of the district raise: cede most of the district back to the states it came from — mostly Maryland, and a portion to Virginia.

                  That answers the problem of not having the same representation in Congress as do people who live in states.

                  Makes more sense than making a state out of a tiny district that was deliberately set aside — for what still seems like an excellent reason to me (and I haven’t heard a good reason presented for why it isn’t) — to be outside all states.

                  I suppose to accomplish this, you could just leave the Mall area — everything from Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial, with a couple of blocks included to north and south — as the new, diminish “D.C.” That way, all residential areas would be in a state.

                  Beyond that, I haven’t thought about the details, but I found it intriguing…

                2. Ken

                  Minor point: there’s nothing left to cede back to VA. That part of the original district territory was returned to VA in 1847 and is now the County of Alexandria.

                  Continuing to embrace the argument in favor of having the seat of national government on “neutral” ground is still lacking foundation. No one has presented evidence showing that locating government inside a state or province has been a problem in real-world experience.

                  A stumbling block to retrocession to MD is the 23rd Amendment to the US Constitution granting DC electors in presidential elections. Given the District’s voting history, Republican-controlled states could be expected to object to MD gaining those electoral votes. Also, MD is also on record as not being interested in absorbing the District.

                3. Brad Warthen Post author

                  Well, you’re right (about Virginia), and I did a stupid thing.

                  The stupid thing I did was look something up (just not carefully enough).

                  I pictured the district in my mind as being entirely in what had been Maryland. You know, those three straight sides of a box, and the Potomac.

                  But I thought, “I’ll go check to make sure.” And when I Googled it, the first thing my eyes landed on was this historical map, which showed the district as a square including land in Virginia. I don’t think it was this exact one, but one similar to it. It was surrounded by correct ones, the ones I had pictured, but since this was unexpected it grabbed my attention.

                  So I thought, all in a second, Well, that makes sense! Why carve the District out of just ONE state? Seems more “national” to carve it out of two. Also, why not have a full, perfect square? I guess I just think of the “district” as being all those government buildings on the Maryland side.

                  So, without looking further, I decided “Brad, you were wrong,” and included Virginia.

                  Like I said, stupid. Ridiculously so, with all those correct maps around it. Maybe I should stop looking things up. Or if I feel I must, do it more carefully…

                4. Barry

                  Brad wrote “ Makes more sense than making a state out of a tiny district that was deliberately set aside — for what still seems like an excellent reason to me (and I haven’t heard a good reason presented for why it isn’t) — to be outside all states.”

                  It’s a nonsensical reason.

                  It’s laughable to even suggest that if DC were a state, that would somehow equate to undue influence on a body that is drowning in undue influence.

              2. Barry

                “ That would be tough, since I’m not thinking of another country that was formed by 13 sovereign states banding together to form something like the U.S.”

                Ken’s question is a good one. Surely if a state is such an obvious undue influence on elected representatives, surely it’s not just because “13 sovereign states” banded together.

                How exactly is DC going to place undue influence on a group that is absolutely drowning in lobbyists hired by states and hundreds of organizations?

                I assume that influence is perfectly fine, but DC as a “state” is just bridge too far? LOL. Right……………

                Reply
              3. bud

                600000 Americans in our nations capitol have zero voice in Congress. How can anyone be ok with that? So let’s recap:

                Electoral college grants a different weight depending on your zip code
                Gerrymandering reduces voting power in the house for minority voters
                The senate gives 2 senators to a state with 575,000 people and 2 for a state with 40 million
                Voter suppression laws disenfranchise millions.
                The four horsemen of the electoral appocolypse:

                Elco
                Gerry
                Sento
                Suplaw

                Reply
          2. randle

            Four rows of 13, like suits of cards. if you want even rows on the flag. Or arrange them in concentric circles, so there are no rows. I think the District deserves to be a state, as they pay taxes like everyone else — and more per capita than some states with representation. Perhaps Canada or Greenland would let us put the capital in their country. They are close enough and happy enough with their own governments to not want to meddle in ours.

            Reply
    4. Ken

      Just to clarify my own positions on your personal list of “abominations”:

      1) Either eliminate winner-take-all awarding of electoral votes in the 48 states where it is applied, or, yes, eliminate the Electoral College.

      2) No one is proposing that. That’s a strawman spawned by your own lurid and fevered imagination. What IS being proposed is, as Hamilton put it, that “The sense of the majority should prevail.” As Philip Bump, among many others, demonstrates in the link I supplied above, not only does it often not prevail as currently applied in our system, it is being actively stymied.

      3) Chuck Schumer and other Democratic leaders are far too cautious (and concerned, sometimes overly so, with holding onto seats) to ever actually pursue court packing. So: another strawman argument.

      4) The Framers can stand up to a little sniping. Far worse, as I believe they themselves would agree, is that they should they be fetishized. They did wonders in addressing the concerns of their time. But that does not make their ideas holy writ. We should instead recall what Lincoln said: “As our case is new, so we should think anew, and act anew … And THEN we shall save our country.” And it will not be saved through dogged and determined defenses of minoritarianism.

      Reply
  10. Bryan Caskey

    Not even Senator Feinstein or Senator Durbin is on board with ending the legislative filibuster, which is a necessary first step in packing the court. Democrats might take the Senate majority, but Democrats aren’t going to win 60 seats in the near future, so all the plans of packing the Court look like they’ll have to wait awhile. But hey, not even a very popular FDR had the political clout to expand the Court for political reasons.

    Looks like it’s time for Plan B, which is for the Democrats to make Judge Barrett (I’m assuming she’s the nominee) herself look illegitimate and give her the Kavanaugh treatment in any hearings. Should be interesting to see how the hearings go.

    Reply
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      No, we might not pack the court.

      But we’d have a huge, ugly partisan fight over it — as if we don’t have enough of those over the Court already.

      Which, you know, is kind of the opposite of what we ought to have, seeing as how it’s the one non-political branch…

      Reply
    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      As for filibusters…

      I’ve always been sort of torn about them. It bothers me that we allow a single person — who could be totally cracked, pursuing his own delusions and representing no one — to lie down in front of the process. You know, the Strom Thurmond kind of filibuster.

      Then, on the other hand, I like having a mechanism that at least allows someone to raise awareness of a majority trying to ram something through without any concern for other people’s perspective. The Mr. Smith Goes to Washington version.

      What I don’t like is the way “filibusters” that aren’t even filibusters bring things to a screeching halt.

      For the most part, a real filibuster is of limited duration. It lasts until the speaker has to take a leak. (Or longer, if it’s a coordinated effort — at which point it has to hold up to the intense scrutiny it attracts.) As I said, it serves mainly to make sure that the iron will of the majority doesn’t ram through without people paying attention.

      At least, that’s what is supposed to happen.

      But now, we allow the mathematical possibility of a filibuster to stop things cold. Oh, we don’t have 60 votes. So we can’t even try…

      That’s what I don’t like. The 60-vote rule. Of course, that’s often what people mean when they say “filibuster”…

      Reply
    3. Barry

      “ Not even Senator Feinstein or Senator Durbin is on board with ending the legislative filibuster”

      LOL

      Let’s see what those 2 say when the conservative court throws out the ACA, Roe, And marriage equality and LGBT rights cases passed by states with liberal legislators.

      Reply
    4. Barry

      The filibuster will be gone. Of course some of these folks are not going to talk much about it PUBLICLY.

      But if a democratic senate is the election result, the filibuster is dead. Good riddance.

      Reply
      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Barry, when you say that, do you mean the 60-vote rule?

        That’s where I get confused when we start talking filibuster. People use the term generally to speak of that recent problem…

        Reply
        1. Barry

          Yes.

          It’s been used too long to thwart too much legislation.

          I’d offer this compromise- if legislation proceeds with regular order (committee’s meet, hearings, vote) and advance bills to the floor, majority vote wins on the floor.

          Any legislation that skirts regular order at all still requires 60 votes.

          Reply
  11. Ken

    Lindsey Graham infamously snarled, “Boy, y’all want power! God I hope you never get it.” Sounds more and more like a Freudian slip revealing the true motivations and intentions of the speaker himself. Because if anything has ever been more clear it’s that Republicans stand for nothing now but the naked pursuit of power and control.

    Reply
    1. Bryan Caskey

      “You don’t like a particular policy or a particular president? Then argue for your position. Go out there and win an election.” -President Obama

      Reply
      1. Ken

        And here’s what your Republicans have been up to with their power:

        “In the past month, nearly every Senate roll-call vote has related to a judicial appointment; not one addressed mounting hunger, school closures, financial desperation or American deaths.”

        Sadly, it’s possible to win elections on the basis of demagoguery , disinformation and irresponsibility. The election of the current occupant to the Oval Office proved it.

        Reply
        1. Ken

          And just to add: I don’t care if that power WAS obtained in a formally legitimate manner (the elections you keep harping on), I do not respect power gained by deceitful means and employed to irresponsible ends.

          Reply
      2. Barry

        You don’t like a particular policy or a particular president? Then argue for your position. Go out there and win an election.” -President Obama

        Something tells me you’ve never agreed with President Obama in your life, but now suddenly you are quoting him?

        LOL

        It’s always funny when right wingers quote Obama.

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *