The Supreme Court is overblown

SuperMatt

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“Conservative” judges in the past couple decades have been more about helping the wealthy than about social issues. Striking down voting rights helps entrench those in power. Giving unlimited money to political campaigning is nakedly pro-rich policy. Allowing corporations to claim they have a religion? Expect more benefits for billionaires with a ”conservative” court. They probably don’t care about social issues, much as GOP Congress critters. They use the social issues to rile up poorly educated voters into voting for things to benefit the rich.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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“Conservative” judges in the past couple decades have been more about helping the wealthy than about social issues. Striking down voting rights helps entrench those in power. Giving unlimited money to political campaigning is nakedly pro-rich policy. Allowing corporations to claim they have a religion? Expect more benefits for billionaires with a ”conservative” court. They probably don’t care about social issues, much as GOP Congress critters. They use the social issues to rile up poorly educated voters into voting for things to benefit the rich.

Be that as it may, or possibly as a result of, I sooner see an actual revolution sooner than a liberal leaning court righting the ship. It's absurd with our multi-branch government and some states rights that for some people they'll tolerate a complete lunatic or incompetent leading the country because of this one power.

Even with the blatantly kicking you in the balls corruption of how the Republicans did a complete 180 between this situation and Obama's, what is going to be done about it? Nothing. Zero. Zilch. A bunch of speeches with the same outcome. Why? Because Democrat politicians and their donors have the same thing to gain letting this move forward.

My point is it won't matter which party is currently sitting in the White House because ultimately you'll get the same result. So don't vote on this single issue.
 

lizkat

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My point is it won't matter which party is currently sitting in the White House because ultimately you'll get the same result. So don't vote on this single issue.

This is less likely to shift votes anyway, perhaps just increase turnout... but on both sides, since some people WILL or DO vote on this single issue. Since there's now a vacancy, some people may decide to vote when before now they figured maybe not bother, since as you suggested, it may feel like it doesn't matter who wins, nothing in DC changes bc of Congress being beholden to K street... but they may well still look at the high court differently. Americans think more highly of the court than of Congress.
 

Scepticalscribe

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My point is it won't matter which party is currently sitting in the White House because ultimately you'll get the same result. So don't vote on this single issue.

I'm not American, but, if I were, to be perfectly candid, I would consider voting on "this single issue", because - and it needs to be said - they are not "all the same", even if they are somewhat less dissimilar than is ideal.

This is because the effect and impact of a wildly conservative majority in the SC in determining and defining (in practice, limiting) my reproductive rights, as a woman, which could, or would, be severely curtailed as a consequence, would have an effect - and quite a serious effect - on my life, quality of life, reproductive choices, as well as my bodily integrity and autonomy.
 

ericgtr12

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I think it's time Democrats stack the court, Republicans have re-written the playbook and stacked everything in their favor without a second thought. If we get enough seats in Congress and Biden is up for it, we just change the landscape by adding more judges.

Fron NPR
With President Trump soon to nominate a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, some Democrats are returning to an idea that hasn't been seriously proposed since the days of Franklin D. Roosevelt: increasing the number of justices on the Supreme Court.

Democratic leaders have long rejected the idea of packing the court, in large part due to fears of Republican retaliation. But with Ginsburg's death — and what many see as Republican hypocrisy in calling for a vote now after they refused to hold a hearing on Merrick Garland during the last year of Obama's presidency — the once radical idea has started to gain traction.

The Supreme Court has had nine justices for over 150 years. But the Constitution doesn't require nine; the number is set by Congress. And leading constitutional scholars tell NPR that if Republicans do push through a new justice and then lose the Senate and presidency in the upcoming election, Democrats will face tremendous political pressure from the base to pack the courts.
 

Scepticalscribe

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I have come to the conclusion, and to hold the opinion, that if the Republicans rush through a replacement for RBG, the Dems ought to stack the court. Perhaps the threat to do so may be sufficient to dissuade Republicans, though I doubt that this would happen.

The truth is, that if the Democrats win the election, the pressure on them (from their own supporters) will make it next to nigh impossible not to follow through on such a course of action.

Likewise, I cannot imagine a situation such as 2000 recurring, when Al Gore conceded, even though the incomplete re-count suggested that he may have emerged victorious. If something similar occurs this year, I cannot see Biden conceding (or cannot see his own supporters allowing him to concede under those circumstances or conditions).

Should there be an EC tie, (but a significant popular vote victory for Biden - I cannot see how he could lose the popular vote), this time, pressure from his own supporters would, or should, ensure that no concession speech will be made, although there will be significant pressure on him to do so from the Right, as the early (in person) votes may well signal a DJT lead, something the GOP will cling to, and attempt to spin, as a "truth", a narrative of claimed victory that they will press and hope to have gain traction, as they seek to invalidate (or suppress, or prevent) mailed ballots, and will do everything in their power to prevent them from being counted.
 
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lizkat

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The country needs to get back to expecting Congress to do the heavy lifting on our contentious issues, not just hand out soundbites and rely on the assumed political lean of our highest court to fix problems that everyone's too inclined nowadays to call "intractable" or "third rail of American politics".

I don't actually think we should stack the courts. That's a tactic destined for escalation. We should just get back to passing bipartisan legislation that doesn't constantly require support of "half plus one" of a Supreme Court to stand as part of our rule of law for longer than it take the ink to dry and a bunch of partisan lawyers to put up a challenge. The court in recent years, by the way, has all but begged the Congress sometimes in both its majority and dissenting opinions to "legislate already"... i.e. stop basically asking the justices to do that work for them where the law has been found murky enough to land in court over and over again.

For us, as constituents of congress critters, it's not smart to let those guys off the hook and focus on the high court as some kind of legislative extension for "so much winning" in a political sense. That just feeds a unitary executive theory of how American government should be run: that the president continues to pick a court nominee of his liking, but that it's normal to expect that the nominee, when confirmed, will decide cases as a partisan... and that a lot of stuff congress passes will end up in front of that high court. To the winner the spoils and to hell with the Constitution? That is not how either Congress or the courts were ever meant to operate, and up until now, modern chief justices have gone out of their way on occasion to protect "their" court from accusations of partisanship.
 

SuperMatt

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The court in recent years, by the way, has all but begged the Congress sometimes in both its majority and dissenting opinions to "legislate already"... i.e. stop basically asking the justices to do that work for them where the law has been found murky enough to land in court over and over again.

Except for the voting rights act... and the Affordable Care Act... and the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, and on and on.... funny how the "activist" judges that the GOP complained about all seem to be on the conservative side.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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The country needs to get back to expecting Congress to do the heavy lifting on our contentious issues, not just hand out soundbites and rely on the assumed political lean of our highest court to fix problems that everyone's too inclined nowadays to call "intractable" or "third rail of American politics".

I don't actually think we should stack the courts. That's a tactic destined for escalation. We should just get back to passing bipartisan legislation that doesn't constantly require support of "half plus one" of a Supreme Court to stand as part of our rule of law for longer than it take the ink to dry and a bunch of partisan lawyers to put up a challenge. The court in recent years, by the way, has all but begged the Congress sometimes in both its majority and dissenting opinions to "legislate already"... i.e. stop basically asking the justices to do that work for them where the law has been found murky enough to land in court over and over again.

For us, as constituents of congress critters, it's not smart to let those guys off the hook and focus on the high court as some kind of legislative extension for "so much winning" in a political sense. That just feeds a unitary executive theory of how American government should be run: that the president continues to pick a court nominee of his liking, but that it's normal to expect that the nominee, when confirmed, will decide cases as a partisan... and that a lot of stuff congress passes will end up in front of that high court. To the winner the spoils and to hell with the Constitution? That is not how either Congress or the courts were ever meant to operate, and up until now, modern chief justices have gone out of their way on occasion to protect "their" court from accusations of partisanship.

To begin with how about we don’t let the President pick the candidates. There, I solved it (at least as far as making it a presidential election year issue). Take him/her/it completely out of it. It’s like letting the seasonal temps pick the new CEO that will run the company until they die.
 

lizkat

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To begin with how about we don’t let the President pick the candidates. There, I solved it (at least as far as making it a presidential election year issue). Take him/her/it completely out of it. It’s like letting the seasonal temps pick the new CEO that will run the company until they die.

I have wanted to think more about the idea I read about somewhere of having sitting justices pick the replacement for a vacated seat amongst them. Too exclusive and incestuous? Maybe, but it seems at least less partisan than having the guy in the Oval Office make the pick after running it by his own party's honchos and getting a read on that party's senate caucus.

What about limiting the term on that bench to something like 11 or 15 years?
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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I have wanted to think more about the idea I read about somewhere of having sitting justices pick the replacement for a vacated seat amongst them. Too exclusive and incestuous? Maybe, but it seems at least less partisan than having the guy in the Oval Office make the pick after running it by his own party's honchos and getting a read on that party's senate caucus.

What about limiting the term on that bench to something like 11 or 15 years?


I'm all for term limits across the board, they could even recommend their successor but they will still need to be vetting per the process.

Also as long as we insist on our 2 majority party system then you should be allowed to stack the court. Period. If it's that our number tie breaker that's up, then fine. Game on. But on a 9 judge panel if you have 5 justices aligned with one side and 4 on the other, if one of the judges on the side with 4 is out then the replacement should be picked from the recommendations from that same side. None of this almost completely relying on who is the President and who has control of Congress horse shit.
 

Alli

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The country needs to get back to expecting Congress to do the heavy lifting on our contentious issues, not just hand out soundbites and rely on the assumed political lean of our highest court to fix problems that everyone's too inclined nowadays to call "intractable" or "third rail of American politics".

I don't actually think we should stack the courts. That's a tactic destined for escalation. We should just get back to passing bipartisan legislation that doesn't constantly require support of "half plus one" of a Supreme Court to stand as part of our rule of law for longer than it take the ink to dry and a bunch of partisan lawyers to put up a challenge. The court in recent years, by the way, has all but begged the Congress sometimes in both its majority and dissenting opinions to "legislate already"... i.e. stop basically asking the justices to do that work for them where the law has been found murky enough to land in court over and over again.

For us, as constituents of congress critters, it's not smart to let those guys off the hook and focus on the high court as some kind of legislative extension for "so much winning" in a political sense. That just feeds a unitary executive theory of how American government should be run: that the president continues to pick a court nominee of his liking, but that it's normal to expect that the nominee, when confirmed, will decide cases as a partisan... and that a lot of stuff congress passes will end up in front of that high court. To the winner the spoils and to hell with the Constitution? That is not how either Congress or the courts were ever meant to operate, and up until now, modern chief justices have gone out of their way on occasion to protect "their" court from accusations of partisanship.

Except that this has become how they now operate. And justices (I use the term loosely) are now auditioning in advance for roles hoping to gain the attention of the president or someone in the Federalist Society who will point them out to the president. We need to return to the idea of fair and impartial. The one thing Gorsuch has going for him is that he takes the law as it is written, which is why he sided with the liberal justices on something I’ve now forgotten. But we’re getting to a point where this austere group is filling up with people who have a personal agenda that is not just fairly interpreting the law.

I'm all for term limits across the board, they could even recommend their successor but they will still need to be vetting per the process.

And yes. Term limits everywhere. There should be no such thing as a lifetime appointment.
 

PearsonX

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OK, but what are they going to do exactly? AFAIK recently so far at least twice conservative judges ruled against the conservative agenda.

The best indicator of how much this actually matters is reflected by the republicans' actions:
1. Overriding their past principle of appointments in election year
2. Taking the risk of galvanizing Democratic voters right before the election
3. The resources they've put in to make sure it really happens before the election

Just think about the possibility of someone like fuBarr getting appointed for lifetime.
 

Scepticalscribe

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Oddly, in the context of the US SC as currently constituted, I'm not for term limits; as things stand, I think this would further politicise the selection process for a judge, turn it into an ongoing process, and serve to chip away at the concept of the separation of powers.

Anything which undermines security of tenure would be a cause for concern.
 

PearsonX

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Oddly, in the context of the US SC as currently constituted, I'm not for term limits; as things stand, I think this would further politicise the selection process for a judge, turn it into an ongoing process, and serve to chip away at the concept of the separation of powers.

Anything which undermines security of tenure would be a cause for concern.
Agree. But it's also problematic to have a conservative representation in the SCOTUS that does not represent the values of the liberal majority.

Let's say its OK that voters in mini states have a disproportionate power to elect the president, to determine who controls the senate, but that they also have a disproportionate say in the SCOTUS which cannot be adjusted.. Now that's a huge problem.
 
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