Last year the GOP blocked Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, a wide recognized centrist moderate and also one of the oldest Supreme Court nominees in history. If this wasn’t a unanimous confirmation then there never was one. But Senate Majority Leader McConnell instantly put the hammer down on that idea, forbidding a single republican from even suggesting he might get a hearing.
Now, McConnell had two objectives. First was to pack the court, and second was to drum up the anti-abortion crowd into voting for the GOP candidate in the presidential election.
Both parts were wildly successful.
The precedent it sets is terrible, even though McConnell just this week refused to say that this should be the standard going forward. He’s hypocritical even in the middle of it. And yet, he flaunted the constitution to do so. The constitution does not give the President a 3 year term, and it doesn’t give the American public the right to nominate a Justice.
This IS a constitutional crisis.
The biggest threat to our system of democracy is the credibility of the courts, and there were several decades where it wasn’t clear that the other branches of government would heed the Supreme Court’s decisions, even longer than that in extreme circumstances. By so shamelessly packing the court, they risk that credibility. For the next 3 to 5 decades, every 5-4 decision that Gorsuch votes in will be considered suspect by a significant portion of the population.
But it gets worse. Democrats have controlled the White House for 16 of the last 24 years, but have only successfully appointed 4 of the 8 openings during that time. And worse than that, the three oldest justices on the Supreme Court are two liberals and a swing vote. If two or even three of those are replaced by Trump, then the GOP will have appointed up to 7 out of the 9 justices on the court despite controlling the White House for a minority of their tenures. And this is not just a Supreme Court problem. This infects the lower courts as well.
At what point do the opinions of justices who think corporations’ free speech is more important than keeping money out of politics and gay people are to be discriminated against become so in doubt that there is a more obvious constitutional crisis
Which brings us back to the nuclear option where the GOP gets rid of the filibuster. The main argument for the dems not filibustering is to, essentially, keep their powder dry for another justice down the line. WHAT?!!!
That makes no sense. The GOP has shamelessly stolen a SCOTUS seat and nominated a man so conservative that if he was farther to the right even members of his own party might start objecting. And that’s part of the problem as well. See, it’s not just the number of justices. Only one party is trying to pack the court with judges that will fundamentally alter our society in ways that we have not seen in our lifetimes because they cannot advance that agenda legislatively.
If the Scalia school of thought prevailed, we would not have most of the government programs we take for granted today. Conservatives like to hold their nose high in the air and declare that the founding fathers would roll over in their graves at our modern government, as if we’re the first generation to even consider the size and role of government within the constitution. The Founding Fathers themselves had the very same debates and in the end put for a document that gave congress great powers to address the needs of our society. It is QUITE convenient that the party that carries constitutions around in their pocket think it only allows what’s expressly written in it, but then ignore parts like the general welfare clause, or the part about Presidents serving 4 year terms and nominating Justices to the Supreme Court.
Ok, I digress. My point is, WHEN IS THE FILIBUSTER FOR IF NOT NOW!!! As if down the road they would not steamroll another nomination right through a filibuster.
The GOP is packing the court and they need to AT MINIMUM get called on it. Pretending this is business as usual tacitly accepts that this behavior is ok. If the GOP goes nuclear, then they lose their leverage down the line as well. The price to pay is worth it.